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 […]

Senate approves bill seeking class size limit for K-2 students

BY: - March 20, 2023

Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro can only imagine the relief if a bill to limit class sizes from kindergarten to grade 2 in public schools that passed the Senate last week became law. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a room with 26 five-year olds,” Calabro said. “It makes a big difference.” […]

Awash in federal money, state lawmakers tackle worsening youth mental health

BY: - March 19, 2023

The pandemic accelerated a yearslong decline in the mental health of the nation’s children and teens. The number of young people experiencing sadness, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide has increased dramatically, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, states, cities and school districts are using COVID-19 relief dollars and their own money to […]

Regulators end week like they started — tamping down fears, rescuing a bank

BY: - March 18, 2023

Financial regulators, policymakers, and bank executives spent the week trying to abate fears that a banking crisis will spread across the U.S. financial system. On Friday, President Joe Biden released a statement calling on Congress to take action to make it easier for regulators to hold senior bank executives accountable for their mismanagement. “It should […]

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 […]

Limits on foreign ownership of U.S. farmland gain support in Congress, despite skepticism

BY: - March 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan momentum is building in Congress to restrict China and other foreign adversaries from purchasing U.S. farmland, a reflection of a similar push by some states as well as apprehension over Chinese spy balloons, rising land prices and growing international competition.  “Foreign ownership of agricultural land threatens small family farms and the overall […]

No competition: State bid for more offshore wind gets one response

BY: - March 17, 2023

It was supposed to be a competitive bidding process when the state announced last October it wanted to bring more offshore wind to Rhode Island. But only one development team responded. The 884-megawatt farm proposed by Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy submitted the lone proposal to Rhode Island Energy,  the state’s primary utility operator announced […]

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 […]

Sobering housing report outlines challenges for R.I. renters with extremely low incomes

BY: - March 17, 2023

About 60% of Rhode Island renters are severely cost-burdened, spending over half their income on housing, according to a report released Thursday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes” found that a housing supply shortage was the main contributor to the state’s crisis, with only 27,547 homes available […]

Another one rides the bus: Commuter transit returning to Foster

BY: - March 17, 2023

Since 2006, if residents from the rural town of Foster wanted to rely on public transit to get to Providence, they’d have to travel to nearby Scituate in order to catch a ride. “[Having the bus is] a resource for a town which is otherwise pretty much shut off from civilization,” said Republican House Minority […]