General Assembly

Latest Articles

What is Linc hiding?; the Big East gets small; blunders at Halitosis Hall

"What's that you're holding behind your back?"
Show us your hands
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  March 15, 2013

Public records: a little more sunlight

Late Tuesday night, as the legislative session came to a close, the General Assembly passed a bill strengthening Rhode Island's deplorable public records law. Governor Chafee, though he has expressed some reservations about the bill, is expected to sign
This Just In
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 15, 2012

How the General Assembly decriminalized pot possession

The long-term prospects for decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana always seemed good.
June Surprise
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 08, 2012

The General Assembly’s State of the Union series

Don't worry, we ain't talking politics here.
Building a bridge
By CHRIS CONTI  |  April 06, 2012

Or, East Bay DUI; ill literacy; RIP, Bruce Lang; hail Charlie!

No one was ever going to confuse the General Assembly with the Mensa Society, but even long-suffering Vo Dilunduhs would prefer that it not become a haven for penny ante thugs, if only for appearances sake. And yes, we are talking to you, Senators Ruggi
CSI Barrington
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  April 06, 2012

Dog daze

Letters to the Boston editors, March 9, 2012.
Letters to the Boston editors, March 9, 2012
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 09, 2012

Enviro talkin’; passing gas; snickering in Swansea; hail to the Hall

Phillipe and Jorge still can't figure out why no one in the environmental movement has adapted Robert Parker's 1966 classic hit, "Barefootin'," bangin out a song called 'Treehuggin'," with appropriate lyrics.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  March 02, 2012

Court looms; camp signs missing

OccupyMaine has filed its comments on the city's reality-detached answer to Occupy's lawsuit, and a hearing on the Occupiers' request for court protection from city eviction is scheduled for next week.
Occupy Watch
By JEFF INGLIS  |  January 20, 2012

Zainyeh's Charge

Lincoln Chafee's new choice for chief of staff, George Zainyeh, is a well-regarded figure in Rhode Island political circles. And the selection underscores one of...
By David Scharfenberg  |  December 20, 2011

Prison Gerrymandering

The Rhode Island redistricting commission will roll out its final maps tonight. One issue to keep an eye on: prison gerrymandering.The census counts prisoners as...
By David Scharfenberg  |  December 12, 2011

Real pension reform? No thanks; Smokin’ Joe; a call for winter coats

As Phillipe and Jorge go to press, we noted that more than 30 amendments were being proposed for the pension reform bill at the State House.
Last-minute shopping
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 18, 2011

Parsing Winners and Losers in the Pension Battle

We've got a pretty good sense, now, for what the pension bill will look like when it comes up for a vote. And most observers...
By David Scharfenberg  |  November 10, 2011

Gordon Unlikely to Be Expelled

Word on Smith Hill is that Representative Daniel Gordon, despite his extensive legal problems, is unlikely to be booted from the General Assembly. Minority Leader...
By David Scharfenberg  |  September 26, 2011

The Smith Hill gang

Well, at least one member of the General Assembly spent the weekend where most of them belong: in jail. We are speaking, of course, of the estimable GOP representative from Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton, and "Lockup: Boston," Daniel Gordon.
Dangerous Dan; kids on a leash; the great Dave Gavitt; more bus fuming
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 23, 2011

On Vetting

ProJo columnist Bob Kerr writes in his column today on the Daniel Gordon drama: ...we really do have to ask ourselves how a guy who did...
By David Scharfenberg  |  September 21, 2011

What About The Children?

As you slog your way through a marathon budget session on a Friday night, it’s nearly impossible not to dream up every possible scenario in...
By Dan McGowan  |  June 27, 2011


General Assembly turns a cold shoulder on the homeless

Rhode Island's itty-bittyness is, of course, a handicap from time to time. But it is also a source of opportunity.
Economics Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 24, 2011

The plan to turn Rhode Island red

The Rhode Island Republican Party's reputation for ineptitude is, by any reasonable measure, richly deserved.
GOP strategist Ken McKay is quietly plotting a data-driven explosion of the state’s one-party rule
By DAVID SCHARFFENBERG  |  June 24, 2011

The stunning demise of gay marriage

This was supposed to be the year.
Two questions for advocates: What happened? What next?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 06, 2011

Rhode Island's urban agenda

If you care about Rhode Island's struggling cities, this is — to put it mildly — a rather important moment.
State of the City
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 06, 2011

UPDATE: All Eyes on Watson

And it is so. From the ProJo: The 10-member House Republican bloc has voted to replace Robert A. Watson as House minority leader, a week-and-a-half...
By David Scharfenberg  |  May 03, 2011

GLAD Slams Fox on Gay Marriage

GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders), which has been active on the gay marriage push in Rhode Island, is slamming openly gay Speaker of...
By David Scharfenberg  |  April 27, 2011

Child Welfare Benefit Concert

Nicholas Alahverdian, who endured an awful run in the state's child welfare system, is hosting a benefit concert tonight to raise money for his push...
By David Scharfenberg  |  April 27, 2011

Local heroes of 2011

In the 14th annual edition of the Providence Phoenix 's Best issue, we highlight people and organizations who are doing exceptionally good work.
Simon Moore and Linda Katz

Not tough enough?

Amid massive deficits and escalating pension problems, a certain tough guy chic has taken hold in State Houses across the country.
While governors nationwide slash their way out of crisis, Chafee plays Mr. Nice Guy
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 15, 2011

Mixed Reaction to Budget Highlights

As details of the governor's proposed budget start to leak out, a mixed reaction in the upper reaches of the General Assembly. Chafee's proposal to...
By David Scharfenberg  |  March 08, 2011

Gay Marriage and the 2012 Election

Last week, I wrote a cover story for the Phoenix on the Smith Hill battle over same-sex marriage. Partisans on both sides are focused, at the...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 28, 2011

Inside the Gay Marriage Fight

I've got an inside peek at the same-sex marriage fight roiling the State House in today's Phoenix. And there was plenty that landed on the...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 24, 2011

Gay Marriage and Polling

A new poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling has 50 percent of Rhode Islanders favoring same-sex marriage and 41 percent opposed. It's a good number...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 23, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage Ad

The state's chief anti-gay marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island, got substantial ink last month for a television ad suggesting Governor...
By David Scharfenberg  |  February 22, 2011