Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Going sideways
STATE OF THE STATE: The higher-than-expected state revenue projections revealed earlier this week reinforce a somewhat obvious point: the passage of time until the next gubernatorial election in 2014, along with ensuing economic improvements, could bolster Governor Chafee. But there’s a lot of hard road between here and there. A vote today by the state retirement board means local and state taxpayers will face higher pension costs. The problems of Central Falls continue unabated. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras — set to lobby this afternoon at the State House — freely acknowledges his plan for closing a $110 million deficit is based on a lot of assumptions. As Ted Nesi notes, it’s enough to make a person downbeat.
SIDEWAYS ON CIVIL UNIONS?: A State House source says the House leadership is pushing hard to discourage support for Representative Art Handy’s planned same-sex marriage amendment to a civil union bill. House spokesman Larry Berman flatly denies that any arm-twisting is taking place. Berman says the same-sex marriage amendment could effectively kill civil unions. Asked if pressure is being exerted to discourage votes in support of the amendment when the civil union bill moves to the floor, Berman says, “I wouldn’t say advocating against it. I would say that they’re being realistic and they realize that if people vote for that amendment that would mean the end of the civil union bill.”
CHAFEE BACKS GIST: The governor released the following statement this afternoon: “I was very glad that Deborah Gist, our Commissioner of Education, was able to join me and several statewide labor leaders for a private conversation with Diane Ravitch during Ms. Ravitch’s recent visit toRhode Island. We enjoyed a lively discussion about many aspects of education reform. From my perspective, Commissioner Gist comported herself in an appropriate and respectful way at all times during this discussion.”
CICILLINE TIME: With Brendan Dohertyset tomorrow o announce a challenge, David Cicilline has an upcoming fundraiser, with a lengthy host commitee and the support of this three fellow delegation members, Wednesday, May 18, from 6-8 pm at the Providence Marriott ($100 suggested donation) . . . . Meanwhile, John Loughlin says a primary won’t hurt Republicans.
TWITTER: Jack Shafer on why the social media platform can be a cause for embarrassment: “The thing that makes tweets most vulnerable is that the Twitter interface lends itself perfectly to expressing the anger of the busybodies who take umbrage at the simpliest statement. They can amplify the original comment via retweets and re-retweets to the point that they spark a technological lynching.”
MEDIA: Bob Plain is joining WPRO as a blogger, reports David Scharfenberg.
BIRTHDAY: Bruce DeSilva.
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