House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello showed real leadership this week when he stalled a controversial vote to adopt the “RhodeMap” Rhode Island plan. The Speaker asked that the vote be delayed to allow him and his staff more time to review the proposal. Meanwhile, advocates and opponents of the bill have that much longer to make their case and Rhode Islanders have a few more weeks to learn about the plan.
Meanwhile the state is in transition with Secretary of State-Elect Nellie Gorbea being the first to unveil her transition website. Governor-Elect Gina Raimondo was a close second.
While the state is on the way to change guard, the old guard, Governor Chafee is giving exit interviews. Chafee told WPRO that he always planned to be a one term governor. This is news to many Rhode Islanders since a few years ago Chafee was quoted in the media saying that he was “fundraising” for his next campaign. The Governor said it was his intention all along, Of course, absolutely nothing to do with his low approval ratings.
Unfortunately, for Chafee and Raimondo, the Governor is not leaving the state with a surplus. Instead, the state is facing a deficit as almost every state department is on track to overspend, DCYF being the biggest offender. And here we all thought Rhode Island was on the road to recovery.
Joy for jobs
There is some good news for the cash strapped state. Unemployment hit its lowest point since April of 2008 in October, 7.4%. Although, there is a cloud in every blue sky; the state did lose 2,600 jobs. This is actually pretty typical since summer time industries are closing shop for the season.
Presidents without borders
The biggest news this week came from the White House, as the president has taken on immigration through Executive Action. Got to hand it to President Obama, he is a team player. While the President may deal with nationwide criticism from some others are applauding him. Those 5 million immigrant and their families will remember this and if the immigrants become legal citizens they will remember it in the next election.
Thus, Obama helps secure Democratic votes in the 2016 Presidential Election and has created a crevassing issue; immigration. The Republicans will now focus on going after illegal immigration and the President. The issue will be center stage and the Democrats can use the issue to paint the Republicans as radical and heartless. Meanwhile, the massive budget problems in the U.S. will likely continue to go unsolved but the American people will be focusing on the immigration issue. But hey, what’s a couple billion dollars?
All in the family
In Woonsocket, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is still taking heat for nepotism claims. The Woonsocket Mayor says she plans to pay back the money her son made working for the city over the summer. Meanwhile other allegations are surrounding the mayor after the Hummel Report revealed that her husband’s nephew was hired as a temporary employee with the city’s Department of Public Works.
Unscrewing the Pooch
And in the city of Pawtucket some dog owners are celebrating after a Superior Court Judge declared a city ordinance banning pit bulls void. The judge said the ordinance was superseded by state law that barred breed bans. Animal rights supporters are celebrating as the often misunderstood breed no longer has to live in the shadows. In fact a group as planned a pit bull parade through the city on Sunday to celebrate.
Don't forget the cranberry!
That’s all for now… Take a break from the politics and enjoy your family, friends and turkey next week. As an aside, the price of Thanksgiving dinner is up 37 cents this year due to rising costs of dairy.
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