Politics + Justice

Households struggle as legislation for utility rate relief stalls

BY: - March 20, 2023

A $54 energy bill rebate might not seem like much. But for Erika Gonzalez, every little bit helps. Especially this year, with record rate hikes tripling electricity costs for her Pawtucket condo, from $60 to $180, just as her husband got laid off from his warehouse job. Left with her $17,000 take-home pay as a […]

Shekarchi says he will not run for Cicilline’s soon-to-open seat

BY: - March 17, 2023

One of the top would-be contenders for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District seat is a no-go. Rhode Island House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi confirmed Friday he will not run for the seat being opened up by longtime U.S. Rep. David Cicilline. Shekarchi, a Warwick Democrat, said his decision was “not a political one, but a […]

CCRI President Meghan Hughes announces plan to step down

BY: - March 17, 2023

After eight years leading  Rhode Island’s state two-year degree school, the first female president of the Community College of Rhode Island has announced she will step down from her post on August 31. “Serving as CCRI’s president has been the greatest professional honor of my lifetime, and I am profoundly grateful to all the faculty, […]

Cross contamination reported at state drug lab

BY: - March 17, 2023

More than 50 criminal drug tests at the state’s drug lab may be the subject of cross contamination involving cocaine, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office announced Friday afternoon. The incident was reported to the AG’s office by the state’s Department of Health on March 14. The disclosure comes after health officials held a routine […]

Carson: Short-term rental regulations aim to “maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods”

BY: - March 17, 2023

A packed House Municipality and Housing Committee hearing at the State House overflowed into the Bell Room Thursday night as property owners made sure their voices are heard on a series of bills that could change how short term rentals are managed in Rhode Island.  Around 400 pieces of written testimony were submitted, many dealing […]

Image of the abortion medication Mifepristone, also known as Mifegyne.

How the judge who could ban the abortion pill won confirmation in the U.S. Senate

BY: - March 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. District Court judge who could end more than two decades of legal access to medication abortion underwent extensive questioning about LGBTQ equality at his December 2017 confirmation hearing — and very little about his views on abortion. Matthew Joseph Kacsmaryk, appointed by former President Donald Trump earlier in 2017, spent much […]

Larry Warner, newly appointed chairman of the Governor's Council on Behavioral Health.

Governor appoints new chair to Council on Behavioral Health

BY: - March 16, 2023

The chief impact and equity officer for the United Way of Rhode Island has been appointed chair of the Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health.  Gov. Dan McKee announced Wednesday the appointment of Larry Warner to lead the 22-member council, made up of representatives from a variety of interests within the mental health field. Warner replaces […]

NOAA to open $150M marine research base in Newport

BY: - March 16, 2023

A federal marine operations and research base is shipping off to Aquidneck Island. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed on Wednesday announced that the government was finalizing plans to relocate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Operations Center from Norfolk, Virginia, to Newport Naval Station. The $150 million project will bring about 200 jobs to […]

AG, DEM file lawsuit to stop sewage discharge into Blackstone River

BY: - March 16, 2023

Three strikes, you’re out. After leaking partially untreated sewage into the Blackstone River at least three times in the last year, the owners and operators of the Woonsocket Wastewater Treatment Facility are being sued. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Terrence Gray Wednesday announced the dual agency […]

As COVID protections end, patients classified as ‘medically needy’ fear new barriers to care

BY: - March 15, 2023

Courtney Blake and her 10-year-old daughter live on their own in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Both of them struggle with chronic mental health issues and have been using Medicaid to help pay for their behavioral health care needs. But like millions of people across the country, Blake is worried that at the end of this health emergency […]

Teen boy in Navy blazer stands at desk with laptop open in House chamber

State House page job postings are ‘word of mouth’

BY: - March 15, 2023

The State House student page program is no exception to Rhode Island’s “know a guy” politics. But some say the growing push toward open government and inclusion should extend to the page program, too.

patio behind a modest four-bedroom home with new shingles in Westerly

Healey’s proposed estate tax threshold could have grave consequences here

BY: - March 15, 2023

Rhode Island tax policy analysts are closely watching what happens to Mass. Gov. Maura Healey's proposal to raise the Bay State's estate tax exemption from $1 million to $3 million. The Ocean State threshold is currently $1.7 million.