Rhode Island Current

Rhode Island Current The Current is an independent, nonprofit news outlet focused on state government and public policy.

The Rhode Island Current is an independent, nonprofit news outlet focused on state government and the impact of public policy decisions in the Ocean State. Readers can expect relentless reporting with the context needed to understand key issues affecting the lives of Rhode Islanders.

A vacant 4-acre field on Victor Street in Providence is the state’s chosen location to build a community of 45 tiny hous...
01/12/2024

A vacant 4-acre field on Victor Street in Providence is the state’s chosen location to build a community of 45 tiny house shelters for people experiencing homelessness — right behind the Foxy Lady strip club. An official proposal is scheduled to go before the State Properties Committee at its Jan. 23 meeting.

A vacant 4-acre field in Providence is the state’s chosen location to build a community of 45 tiny house shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

“I view my role as a convener, collaborator and an expediter to get this going,” says Neil Steinberg after the Rhode Isl...
01/12/2024

“I view my role as a convener, collaborator and an expediter to get this going,” says Neil Steinberg after the Rhode Island Senate Thursday confirms him as chairman of Rhode Island Life Sciences Hub board.

The Rhode Island Senate unanimously confirmed Neil Steinberg on Thursday to serve as chairman of the Rhode Island Life Sciences Hub board.

Republican U.S. House lawmakers conducted a hearing Thursday to examine the possibility that “wokeness” hurts U.S. milit...
01/12/2024

Republican U.S. House lawmakers conducted a hearing Thursday to examine the possibility that “wokeness” hurts U.S. military readiness and effectiveness.

Republican U.S. House lawmakers, led by Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, conducted a hearing Thursday to examine the possibility that “wokeness” hurts U.S. military readiness and effectiveness.

President Joe Biden announced Friday that some federal student loan borrowers will have their loans canceled under the D...
01/12/2024

President Joe Biden announced Friday that some federal student loan borrowers will have their loans canceled under the Department of Education’s new repayment plan. Starting next month, people who took out under $12,000 in federal student loans and have been repaying those loans for 10 years will get their remaining student loan balance canceled once they enroll in the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan, known as SAVE.

President Joe Biden announced Friday that some federal student loan borrowers will have their loans cancelled under the Department of Education’s new repayment plan.

New York Times bestseller "Solito" is the 2024 Reading Across Rhode Island selection from the Rhode Island Center for th...
01/08/2024

New York Times bestseller "Solito" is the 2024 Reading Across Rhode Island selection from the Rhode Island Center for the Book based at Salve Regina University. Javier Zamora's memoir chronicles his grueling journey as a 9-year-old boy leaving home in El Salvador to reunite with his parents in California.

“We are hoping this selection will encourage Rhode Islanders to think about how we welcome immigrants and refugees to our state,” said Kate Lentz, director of the Rhode Island Center for the Book

Poet Javier Zamora's memoir tracing his journey as an unaccompanied 9-year-old boy from El Salvador to the United State is the 2024 selection for the Rhode Island Center for the Book's community reading program.

Social Security recipients are more likely than any other age groups to vote. But President Joe Biden and top Republican...
01/08/2024

Social Security recipients are more likely than any other age groups to vote. But President Joe Biden and top Republican primary contenders have yet to venture beyond talking points and go into details to address the looming solvency crisis.

Neither President Joe Biden nor any of the top Republican primary contenders have laid out detailed proposals or gone beyond talking points on how to address the looming Social Security solvency crisis.

Campaigning in Iowa on Saturday on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trum...
01/07/2024

Campaigning in Iowa on Saturday on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trump said those who attacked the Capitol acted “patriotically and peacefully."

During a nearly two-hour speech, Trump brought up topics ranging from his plans to “build a giant dome over our country” for national security to his thoughts on the Civil War — saying that it could have been “negotiated” out, resulting in fewer deaths.

Campaigning in Iowa on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trump said that those who attacked the Capitol acted “patriotically and peacefully,” as he called for supporters to help him win reelection against President Joe Biden in 2024.

Social Security recipients are more likely than many other age groups to vote. But neither President Joe Biden nor any o...
01/06/2024

Social Security recipients are more likely than many other age groups to vote. But neither President Joe Biden nor any of the top Republican primary contenders have laid out detailed proposals or gone beyond talking points on how to address the looming Social Security solvency crisis.

Neither President Joe Biden nor any of the top Republican primary contenders have laid out detailed proposals or gone beyond talking points on how to address the looming Social Security solvency crisis.

A commuter ferry service between Bristol and Providence arranged to help motorists cope with the emergency closure of th...
01/05/2024

A commuter ferry service between Bristol and Providence arranged to help motorists cope with the emergency closure of the westbound lanes of I-195 on the Washington Bridge will end Jan. 19 because of low ridership. Governor Dan McKee announced the news on Gene Valicenti WPRO radio show Friday morning.

A commuter ferry service between Bristol and Providence arranged to help motorists cope with the emergency closure of the westbound lanes of I-195 on the Washington Bridge will end Jan. 19 because of low ridership, state officials say.

After November’s fatal shootings of an unarmed security officer and former patient inside New Hampshire's state psychiat...
01/05/2024

After November’s fatal shootings of an unarmed security officer and former patient inside New Hampshire's state psychiatric hospital, the New Hampshire Department of Safety said it is developing a new policy to arm its security officers with fi****ms.

But security officers at several hospitals are concerned that being armed in a volatile situation could exacerbate, not mitigate, safety risks to patients, visitors, and staff. And they caution that a gun in a hospital setting could take away from what should be a welcoming and therapeutic environment.

November’s fatal shootings of an unarmed security officer and former patient inside New Hampshire's state psychiatric hospital could lead to a major policy change that most other hospitals in the state have considered and rejected: armed security guards.

The 2024 battle for control of Congress is underway in the states, accompanying the accelerating race for the presidency...
01/05/2024

The 2024 battle for control of Congress is underway in the states, accompanying the accelerating race for the presidency. Republicans are preparing to funnel money and staff into a select few Senate races in an effort to flip that chamber back to their control, while Democrats are looking toward the districts President Joe Biden won as their pathway back to the majority in the House.

Republicans are preparing to funnel money and staff into a select few U.S. Senate races in an effort to flip that chamber back to their control, while Democrats are looking toward the districts President Joe Biden won as their pathway back to the majority in the U.S. House.

The 2024 battle for control of Congress is underway in the states, accompanying the accelerating race for the presidency...
01/05/2024

The 2024 battle for control of Congress is underway in the states, accompanying the accelerating race for the presidency.

Republicans are preparing to funnel money and staff into a select few U.S. Senate races in an effort to flip that chamber back to their control, while Democrats are looking toward the districts President Joe Biden won as their pathway back to the majority in the U.S. House.

Congress got next to nothing done during the past year and could accomplish even less in 2024 as attention shifts to the...
01/04/2024

Congress got next to nothing done during the past year and could accomplish even less in 2024 as attention shifts to the November elections. The entire House and one-third of the Senate will be up for reelection. In the House, lawmakers could become increasingly occupied with the GOP’s attempts to impeach Biden, though Speaker Mike Johnson insists he’s not going to bring that to the floor before there’s sufficient evidence.

Congress got next to nothing done during the past year and could accomplish even less in 2024 as attention shifts to the November elections.

Independent Man scheduled to be moved to National Guard Armory on North Main Street in Providence to start restoration w...
01/04/2024

Independent Man scheduled to be moved to National Guard Armory on North Main Street in Providence to start restoration work on Monday.

The Independent Man is traveling again on Monday, Jan. 8, headed to the Rhode Island National Guard Armory building on North Main Street in Providence for restoration work.

01/04/2024

After months of demands from Warwick officials, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has agreed to cover the $1.9 million cost to create a sound barrier near a planned cargo facility at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. RIAC promises to build the sound barrier and route all truck traffic through the airport connector, in a memorandum of understanding to Mayor Frank Picozzi and the City Council.

https://rhodeislandcurrent.com/2024/01/03/airport-commits-to-building-sound-wall-to-resolve-dispute-with-city-of-warwick/

Complaint against the Coastal Resources Management Council of Rhode Island sets stage for what could be another protract...
01/03/2024

Complaint against the Coastal Resources Management Council of Rhode Island sets stage for what could be another protracted legal battle over bivalves in the Ocean State.

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council seems bound for another lawsuit after approving a contested aquaculture farm in Point Judith Pond.

President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump along with eight other declared presidential hopefuls, have until Jan. 1...
01/03/2024

President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump along with eight other declared presidential hopefuls, have until Jan. 11 to gather at least 1,000 signatures apiece from registered Rhode Island voters to secure a spot on the ballot in the upcoming April 2 presidential preference primary.

Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, along with eight other presidential hopefuls, have declared their intent to run in Rhode Island's 2024 presidential preference primary on April 2.

On the first day of the 2024 legislative session Tuesday at the State House, the leaders of both chambers alluded to dif...
01/03/2024

On the first day of the 2024 legislative session Tuesday at the State House, the leaders of both chambers alluded to difficult decisions on the horizon. And while the Rhode Island Senate already has a limit on the number of bills that can be introduced, the House of Representatives set its own goal for lawmakers.

Lawmakers kicked off the 2024 legislative session at the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday with leaders offering optimistic remarks tempered by warnings of tough decisions ahead.

News and events always seem to put the Rhode Island Republican Party's perennial call for an independent Office of Inspe...
01/03/2024

News and events always seem to put the Rhode Island Republican Party's perennial call for an independent Office of Inspector General on the back burner. Will Washington Bridge closure finally call attention to the idea?

Rhode Island Republican leaders are once again calling for an independent Office of Inspector General to root out government corruption and wasteful spending.

"The before-dawn hours are beautiful, and full compensation for the early wake-up." As a new year begins, columnist Ruth...
01/02/2024

"The before-dawn hours are beautiful, and full compensation for the early wake-up."

As a new year begins, columnist Ruth S. Taylor contemplates the magical moments of pre-dawn dogwalking out in the natural world.

The Rhode Island Current is an independent, nonprofit news outlet focused on state government and the impact of public policy decisions in the Ocean State. Readers can expect relentless reporting with the context needed to understand key issues affecting the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Thank you to all our donors who gave so generously to our nonpartisan, independent news site in 2023. There is still tim...
12/28/2023

Thank you to all our donors who gave so generously to our nonpartisan, independent news site in 2023.

There is still time to make your tax deductible end-of-the-year gift now. Please visit:

https://rhodeislandcurrent.com/donate/

There’s an ongoing battle along New Hampshire’s coastline, and the invader is a 2- to 5-foot-tall perennial herb with wh...
12/28/2023

There’s an ongoing battle along New Hampshire’s coastline, and the invader is a 2- to 5-foot-tall perennial herb with white flower clusters. Perennial pepperweed, documented for decades in Connecticut, Massachusetts, is threatening the delicate salt marsh ecosystems of New Hampshire and southern Maine.

It's also been observed along I-295 in Rhode Island. Since 2008, New Hampshire has been using GIS field mapping to find and hand-pull and herbicide treat areas where the plant is growing.

The Rhode Island Current is an independent, nonprofit news outlet focused on state government and the impact of public policy decisions in the Ocean State. Readers can expect relentless reporting with the context needed to understand key issues affecting the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Legislation to stimulate the production of more affordable housing across Rhode Island was hailed as an important step i...
12/27/2023

Legislation to stimulate the production of more affordable housing across Rhode Island was hailed as an important step in helping remove bureaucratic hurdles that slow down development in cities and towns. But the effort to address the state’s housing crisis has placed enormous pressure on Rhode Island’s municipal planners, who have to prepare their communities to adopt these changes by Jan. 1.

Small towns with fewer resources than cities say they may need extension to comply with state-mandated updates to land use regulations intended to spur affordable housing development.

Legislation that failed to make headway this year will be re-introduced, including push for tougher penalties for refusa...
12/27/2023

Legislation that failed to make headway this year will be re-introduced, including push for tougher penalties for refusal.

A group of state lawmakers vow to renew their charge for stronger DUI laws after the General Assembly reconvenes in January, including pushing for tougher penalties for refusal.

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous Christmas!
12/25/2023

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous Christmas!

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican and Senate Armed Services Committee member, is highlighting a provision she sec...
12/21/2023

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican and Senate Armed Services Committee member, is highlighting a provision she secured in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal 2024 that aims to examine barriers small businesses may face when trying to break into the federal marketplace.

Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, a veteran who has a hand in federal defense policy, wants to ensure vendor contracts procured by the Pentagon are open to small businesses, she said Tuesday.

A power wheelchair user for four decades, former Congressman Jim Langevin says the complexity and bureaucracy built into...
12/21/2023

A power wheelchair user for four decades, former Congressman Jim Langevin says the complexity and bureaucracy built into the system for fixing wheelchairs is causing delays when repairs are urgently needed. Via CommonWealth Beacon

A power wheelchair user for four decades, Jim Langevin says complexity and bureaucracy built into the system for fixing wheelchairs causes delays when repairs are urgently needed.

A Rhode Island Senate panel tasked with recommending how to reform the way Rhode Island primary winners are chosen could...
12/21/2023

A Rhode Island Senate panel tasked with recommending how to reform the way Rhode Island primary winners are chosen couldn't agree on a single, alternative voting method. At the very least, Sen. Sam Zurier, a Providence Democrat who chairs the seven-member commission, says its work can serve as a foundation for further inquiry into fixing the problem of candidates winning with less than 50% of the vote.

A Senate panel tasked with recommending how to reform the way Rhode Island primary winners are chosen couldn't agree on a single, alternative voting method.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Recovery Center opened Tuesday at the Weaver Memorial Library in E...
12/20/2023

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Recovery Center opened Tuesday at the Weaver Memorial Library in East Providence, offering assistance to businesses impacted by the sudden closure of the Washington Bridge for emergency repairs.

Small businesses in Providence, Kent, and Bristol counties in Rhode Island, as well as the contiguous counties of Bristol, Norfolk, and Worcester in Massachusetts, and Windham County in Connecticut are eligible to apply for a 4% Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (3.25% for nonprofits) beginning immediately.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Recovery Center opened Tuesday at the Weaver Memorial Library in East Providence, offering assistance to businesses impacted by the sudden closure of the Washington Bridge for emergency repairs.

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