RI State House Politics Are About to Explode
Wednesday, January 03, 2018
But, almost immediately the legislature will be faced with a crush of matters.
Add in a few x-factors: a Governor who polls in the 35 percent range; a budget deficit; a Speaker who won re-election by less than 100 votes; a Senate President and Speaker who ended the last session not on the best terms; polling that shows that most Rhode Islanders think that the state is going in the wrong direction; and that less than a third support the PawSox deal -- and, oh yeah, its an election year.
Here is an overview of some of the critical issues:
PawSox — The State Senate is opening the session with the revised PawSox deal under consideration. Senate Finance is holding a hearing on Thursday.
The committee will consider a resolution (2018-S 2001), introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that would authorize the state to enter into lease and financing agreements in connection with a ballpark.
Many have attacked the revised deal as being a setback for taxpayers and the PawSox owners.
The second resolution to be considered is legislation (2018-S 2002) also introduced by Conley that would permit redevelopment agencies to finance the construction of projects for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, institutional, public or other purposes contemplated by a redevelopment plan.
Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello is a no-go on this legislation and is likely to send it to the voters to approve.
Budget — Budget, budget, and more budget. While the PawSox get the headlines, it is the budget battles that will determine the future of the state. With a significant $200 plus million hole and the potential for the number to grow, Governor Gina Raimondo who is facing a tough re-election needs to balance looking compassionate to the poorest in the state with being fiscally competent — polling shows that she has vulnerabilities on both fronts.
The Partners deal raises many concerns as it would, most likely, mean the outsourcing of thousands of jobs to Massachusetts, a blow to the partnership with the Brown Medical School (Partners is affiliated with Harvard Medical School), and the loss of local control.
All of this playing out against a hospital conversion act process that is now being shown to be flawed, as the RI Attorney General failed to protect the interests of pensioners in the 2014 sale of CharterCARE. That deal left the pension fund of St. Joseph Health Services (a component of CharterCARE) orphaned and resulted in its collapse in August of 2017.
The Attorney General Peter Kilmartin approved that deal.
UHIP — The techno-nightmare of the state’s healthcare technology infrastructure continues to leave the state’s most vulnerable without the very basics (food stamps) and now the federal court has named a special master to investigate and take control. Deming Sherman was named by federal court judge Will Smith to take control of the broken system.
Will House Oversight, led by Pat Serpa be forced to develop and push legislation to force resolution? The techno-nightmare is already deep into year two.
Online Gambling — Watch for the emergence of online gambling. It is in place in New Jersey and is being seen as a possible solution to the budget whole. Sources tell GoLocal that Raimondo polled the issue and that the public likes the expansion of gaming over marijuana.
Marijuana — The hope of the Governor and legislative leaders was that by now the data from Massachusetts would be in and RI could follow the game plan. Well, the Commonwealth has been slow in implementing the program. Will Rhode Island be forced to move forward due to budget holes?
The state’s official name, "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." The name appears in the colony's 1663 Royal Charter and is also on the state seal and on many official state documents. According to historians, the name refers to the merger of the "Providence Plantations" settlement founded by religious dissident Roger Williams with neighboring towns into a unified government. Not a reference to slavery.
PHOTOS: Opening of the 2018 Session - Inside the State House
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- Governor Raimondo On GoLocal LIVE and Talks UHIP, 38 Studios, and Free College Tuition
- Legislative Leaders Fire Back at Raimondo’s Claim They Pressured Her on UHIP Launch
- UHIP Failure Increases Demand at Rhode Island Community Food Bank
- Serpa Calls for Auditor General to Conduct Independent Review of UHIP
- Roberts Out, Wood Demoted — Report This Week Will Outline UHIP Mega-Problems
- “I am Sorry” Says Raimondo About Failed UHIP Rollout
- Raimondo to Oust DePena, Guertin Over UHIP Debacle
- Raimondo’s UHIP “Decisiveness” Four Months Too Late - Leaders Blame Gov & Roberts
- ACLU of RI Sets up Hotline for Food Stamp Complaints Related to UHIP
- House Oversight Committee to Hear UHIP Update During Thursday Meeting
- UHIP Review, Pushing Back Against Trump’s Border Wall: This Week at the State House
- Latest Deloitte-UHIP Debacle - Incorrect Tax Forms Sent to 3,000 HealthsourceRI Members
- RI ACLU “Pleased” With Appointment of Special Master to Oversee UHIP Resolution
- Raimondo’s UHIP Disaster - Federal Court Takes Over Management
- Special Master Appointed to Investigate UHIP Is Donor to Raimondo and Ousted Roberts
- RI ACLU Re-Staffs Hotline for Food Stamp Complaints Related to UHIP
- VIDEO: ACLU to Seek Additional Remedies Against Raimondo Administration for UHIP Failures
- This Won’t be UHIP: Revenue Director Hull on New DMV Rollout
- Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Food Stamp Benefit Delays Caused by UHIP
- Chair Serpa Raises Questions About Management at DCYF and UHIP
- Will RI DMV Rollout Be Another UHIP?
- UHIP Failure: 1 in 3 RI Food Stamp Applicants Not Getting Benefits, Says ACLU
- Sasse Says RI Commerce Failed to Properly Review PawSox Deal
- PawSox Deal is in Chaos
- I Will Vote Against Current PawSox Deal: Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan
- PawSox Deal Looks Dead for 2017, Mattiello Raises Concerns
- Sen. Sheehan Discusses the Need for a New PawSox Deal on GoLocal LIVE
- Kinch Says PawSox Deal is a Threat to Pawtucket’s Finances
- On LIVE Thursday: Festival Ballet, Kinch on PawSox, and Dem’s McNamara & Much More
- ABC6’s “In the Arena” - Paolino Goes 1-On-1 with PawSox Consultant Rosentraub
- GoLocal Benchmark Poll: RIers Overwhelmingly Oppose Public Funding for the PawSox Stadium
- PawSox to Host Annual Open House & BallYard Sale at McCoy Stadium
- Facing Overwhelming Public Opposition for PawSox Deal, What is Next for Owners
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Stewart: Supporting PawSox Gentrification Efforts is Not Progressive
- PawSox Claim Potential New Stadium Must Be Pushed Back to 2021 at Earliest
- Tuesday on LIVE: Singer Gilman & Kinch on New PawSox Deal
- “PawSox Will End Up on Ballot, or Leave,” Says Former Pawtucket City Councilman Kinch
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan: New PawSox Proposal Still Falls Short of Public’s Approval
- Grebien Sounds the Alarm on PawSox on GoLocal LIVE
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Mathieu - Vote Them Out of Office if They Approve New PawSox Deal
- New PawSox Deal: Cost Spikes to $85M — 16% Increase UPDATED
- Top Union Leader Warns Time Is Running Out for a PawSox Deal
- Lucchino Says PawSox Have Identified Attleboro Site As Alternative to Apex Location in Pawtucket
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Sheehan: PawSox Deal Breaker
- EDITORIAL: The PawSox Stadium Solution
- Mattiello: House Finance Committee to Review New PawSox Stadium Proposal in Fall
- Save the Bay Criticizes Raimondo and Mattiello for Budget Cuts to Environment
- Chaos at the State House - Speaker Mattiello “Takes His Ball” and Goes Home for the Holiday
- Lynch Fires Back At Progressive Democrats Call for Mattiello’s Replacement
- RI Progressive Democrats Call for Mattiello’s Resignation
- GOP Charges Mattiello Upping His Own Budget 17%, Speaker Says Money is Being Carried Forward
- Mattiello’s Car Tax Bill & Ban on Conversion Therapy: This Week at the State House
- RI’s Revenues Collapse: Raimondo Blames Trump, Mattiello Blames Raimondo: UPDATED
- Moore: Revenue Shortfall Benefits Speaker Mattiello
- Mattiello on LIVE: Marijuana Dead, Car Tax Repeal Extended to 6 Years
- UPDATED: Mattiello Proposes Major Changes to Car Tax Structure
- Mattiello and Sasse Say Raimondo’s CCRI Free Tuition End-Around is Illegal
- Progressive Democrats Call for Mattiello to “Get Back to Work”
- Frias Goes Door-to-Door in Mattiello’s District Voicing Opposition to PawSox Stadium Funding
- Iacoi, Top Lawyer at RI Public Safety, Moving to Speaker Mattiello’s Office as Chief Legal Counsel
- Speaker Mattiello and NASA Scientist Kowal Arcand on LIVE Monday
- Mattiello Calls on Raimondo to Hold Plans for Expired Vehicle Inspection Charges
- Mattiello Blasts Kilmartin on St. Joseph Pension Fund Bankruptcy
- LIVE Thursday: Speaker Mattiello, Chief Tikoian, URI Shark Researcher and More
- Did Speaker Mattiello Just Blink in Budget Fight?
- UPDATED: Mattiello Wins, Senate Will Vote on Original House Budget
- RI GOP Claims Mattiello, Montanaro Jr. are Misleading Taxpayers
- Speaker Mattiello Targeted By City of Pawtucket with Ads in Cranston Newspaper