The PawSox Stadium… appears to be in play this week as the legislative hearings started Thursday night at the State House. Union members and various members of the public showed up to voice their approval or opposition. The PawSox got many supporters to show up for their quest to receive 38 million in state and city funds to build their new stadium. If the general public is against this proposal, you sure couldn’t tell from the hearings on Thursday night. They were outnumbered by a vocal group of supporters who are union organized. It’s obvious the Senate panel supports the endeavor as one of the Senators even took a cell picture of Larry Lucchino as he was speaking. Mayor Grebien has made this his priority and is receiving support from five other Mayors including the Mayor of Providence. The next meeting is at Tollman High School on September 26th. But it looks like it’s already home run for the Pawtucket team.
T.F. Green Airport will host a job fair at the Radisson Hotel on 2081 Post road on Thursday, September 21st from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. With four new airlines coming to the airport, help is needed and this is a great opportunity. Applicants will have to meet background check requirements.
We need more job fairs like this! Kudos to the Airport Corporation for showing us all how it’s done!
Hollywood Hills Nursing home…lost 8 patients due to the heat and dehydration caused by loss of power in Hurricane Irma. How sad that this nursing home didn’t have the brains to take these patients across the street to the neighboring Hospital. There is no excuse on earth for this negligence and it proves how vulnerable our Seniors really are. For shame on this nursing home for calling themselves health care professionals.
Wake up America! Our Seniors deserve better than this!
Florida devastation….Hurricane Irma has ravished Florida this week and caused us to reflect of how in a minute things can change. Florida sustained winds of 145 miles an hour causing homes to be destroyed, loss of life, no power, no gas, and pure devastation. Our hearts and prayers go out to our friends and family in Florida as all of us have in some way a connection there. Let’s hope Washington sends the much needed help to Florida and works together for the people. Hurricane season is not over yet and we cringe as we cannot even imagine another storm coming our way. Heavily hit Jacksonville, Marco Island and the Florida Keys will take a while to recover. But the people of Florida are resilient and will rebuild and endure because they are the sunshine state and known for their love of their state.
North Korea launched another missile…He’s at it again, and this time he launched a missile headed for Japan. Kim Jon-yun has made it clear that he is out to destroy Japan and the United States. What happens next is anyone’s guess. The sanctions passed made no difference to this dictator who seems to have a death wish.
Cassini Spacecraft ends… After a 20 year mission to explore Saturn, NASA has stated that the Cassini spacecraft will end its mission by crashing into Saturn. Six moons were discovered as well as pictures of Saturn that were breathtaking. We still don’t know is life exists there but are left with evidence that it very well could. Beam me up Scottie!
Google lawsuit.. It seems Pay equity isn’t practiced at google as it’s been said that they pay their female employees less then their male counterparts. Three former google female employees have filed a lawsuit. No, it’s not a surprise! Women still are not paid the same as their male counterparts! When will it change? If more women keep filing lawsuits to stop the injustices of employers who still don’t get it !
What’s in…What’s out… this week…
Hurricane Irma is making its way to Florida….after battling its way through Cuba and the Islands….millions were evacuated in Florida and are heading North. The Carribean islands were devastated leaving catastrophic damage. South Florida is bracing for the worse scenario as the storm surge and wind poses a major threat to South Florida. The sunshine state has been dealt an impossible dilemma with no where to go. Airlines were totally booked, shelters already overcrowded, highways jammed, gasoline and bottled water shortages prevail and residents are in a panic. The West coast of Florida seems to be the target and we fear for our friends and family members who are there during this storm. Could it be more scarier? I don’t think so. Our prayers and thoughts remain with everyone effected by this storm.
PawSox hearings …..The legislative hearings are all set for the proposed new PawSox stadium for Pawtucket. Residents throughout Rhode Island will have the opportunity to express their views at the Senate legislative hearings at various locations throughout the state. Will the public show an interest or will apathy prevail?
The General Assembly returns on September l9th….to deal with the bills that were tabled when they recessed a few months ago. So what bills will we see merge as they return? Look for passage of a paid sick leave bill mandating sick days for employees, the domestic violence gun bill and maybe a few surprises.
What’s out…So former Mayor Joe Paolino is seeking a tax break on his property in downtown (100 Westminster st) due to his claim of deteriorating conditions in Providence. Crime, homelessness and decay were his arguments for requesting a tax break. These conditions in Downtown Providence are not new. They have been around for years.
Why is now different, when so many of us are living in Providence with the same conditions? Many were in a position to change the conditions of Downtown Providence over the years, including Paolino, but never did.
A new vision for Downtown Providence is needed to make it thrive. And so is a new vision needed for our embattled neighborhoods. I love our city and know it can be done. But it will take hard work and not personal economic interest to do the changes that need to be done. Our neighborhoods need to be safe as well as our Downtown. People shouldn’t have to fear walking their neighborhoods because of gun shots or gang activity. Downtown providence shouldn’t be a haven for fights and routy nightclub fights. We have seen the some unwelcome changes in our neighborhoods that we do not need. Nightclubs, sports bars and gangs do not belong in our neighborhoods. It’s time for residents to speak up and ban together. What goes in Providence, spreads to the rest of the state. And so, it begins.
What’s in., What’s out….
“Houston we’ve a problem”… No truer words were spoken this week..
How many times have we heard astronauts confer from space with NASA by calling them Houston in times of trouble and glory. This week America watches as our beloved Houston is hit with horrific Hurricane Harvey leaving devastation and death in its path. We as Americans know Houston as being the center of NASA operations and a stronghold in the state of Texas. Now America watches as relief and rescue efforts are underway. How can a city that America has looked up to for so long be so devastatingly effected by this storm? Fifty days of rain and flooding has turned much of Houston into a lake with cars, homes, trucks, and vehicles buried in water. Donations are being made to the Red Cross , Salvation Army and the Hurricane Relief Fund to help Houston in their time of need. President Trump has donated $1 million dollars of his personal money to aid in the relief as well as actress Sandra Bullock. It will take years to fix the devastation an destruction. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Americans in Houston.
Tearing down confederate statues…. No matter how hard one wants to rewrite history, they cannot. Tearing down statues and monuments cannot change the past and only causes more unrest for the future…
Massachusetts lottery winner in powerball….Mavis Wanczyk has won the $758 million dollar prize! Congratulations to her and her family. She played the birthdays in her family. Good for her and enjoy!
New Plans for Kennedy Plaza….Mayor Elorza has announced a new plan to renovate Kennedy Plaza by eliminating the bus stops there. Revising the travel plans and adding new routes, added lighting and a pedestrian walk are just some of the renovations in the works. Let’s hope or the best for this troubled area in Downtown Providence which once was a main transport area in years past.
Providence schools. In an effort to fix our public schools with much needed renovations and construction improvements, the Mayor has announced his plan to seek money to improve our schools. This is so needed and wanted by the community. How can we expect our children to learn in deteriorating conditions? Let’s hope the schools get the improvements they need.
WBRU radio is changing formats…WBRU radio which been operated by Brown Students since 1966 will now be a Christian music station as of September 1st. The radio signal sold for $5.6 million much to the dismay of many who grew up listening to alternate rock music for years. Stay tuned it isn’t over yet,the legacy may move on…
UHIP Crisis almost a year old…Hard to believe this debacle is still going on. More hard to believe while some are not paid, others are being overpaid. So, how long is it going to take to fix? How about some introduction of legislation asking for more accountability and penalties to those who were responsible for this “UHIP UNFOLDING”. While so many suffer from this crisis, including homecare casualties, government still marches on playing its fiddle like Nero when Rome was burning. Election time is coming this year folks. If you are fed up, get up! Run for office or at least vote and become involved in your community. Change is in the air,
and it smells good.
What’s In… What’s Out
Providence Giving Meters… In an attempt to help the homeless in our city, Mayor Jorge Elorza has proposed a solution of “giving meters” in the city. 10 parking meters will be installed at various locations in the city to
take collection of monies to be donated to the homeless. The plan is to donate to agencies serving the homeless in Providence, and not individuals. Each meter will cost $1,000 to be installed. This is done in other large municipalities in the country. Only time will tell if it will work out here and how the money will be collected and distributed.
Free Tuition at CCRI… RI students are lining up to receive free tuition that was promised by Governor Raimondo in this year’s budget proposal.
It remains to be seen if all our students will be able to take advantage of
this proposal and just how it will work out in years to come. Let’s hope it is done fairly and equally for all.
Narragansett Town Beach…This must be one of the nicest beaches in Rhode Island. That’s why it’s so crowded and so hard to get a parking space. If only all our beaches had sand and water this clean. Yes, you pay
to park and you pay to get on the beach, too! I think beaches should be free to Rhode Islanders even if it is a town beach. A day at this beach could cost you a slight fortune if you are a family of 4 or 5.
Beach Blanket Bingo… As I stated above, you have to pay to park at RI
state beaches. This should never be. Summer is such a short season and we should be able to enjoy our beaches for free. On top of that, the
parking is like a game of beach blanket bingo. You need to get there earlyin the morning to park and get a good spot on the beach. Only to find that someone comes along at 1pm and parks their blanket on top of yours
with their loud radio and cigar. It’s hot, it’s sticky, and I can’t believe the nerve of some people when they are at a public beach. Diapers on the sand, food, garbage thrown around on the sand and cigarette butts everywhere.
We are the Ocean State – but you would never know it by the way people treat our ocean. And, we’re paying for this. Just saying.
Healthcare… As I write this this week I become increasing aggravated
with the way our seniors are treated in the healthcare system. Recently I have
seen the plight of our senior population who need healthcare in the hospital
and nursing homes and it is not pretty. Our elderly are treated like pawns when
they are sick. No one to advocate for those who have no family or who are alone.
And for those who have families who try to advocate for them, they are ignored
by the system. Our seniors work all their lives only to give their life savings to
nursing homes because we have a Medicaid system that doesn’t pay. We may live in the richest country in the world – but it sure is the cheapest. The next time you see your Congressman out having dinner and drinking the finest wine ask him if his healthcare includes coverage for long term illness or
rehabilitation after 20 days. Same question goes to the union representative
you vote for and pay dues to as a union member. When the bargaining is all
said and done, do you really have the health coverage you relied on all those years ago, when you started your job? I doubt it. Shame to the complacent individuals in this state and country. We could learn well from China, who treat their elderly with respect, something that is long gone from the American way.
Home front Health care services…abruptly closes. How can this happen? An agency serving over 500 homebound sick closes. Advocate Nicholas Oliver laid blame on the Governor, Assembly and the UHIP debacle for slowing down Medicaid payments. Those of us who have loved ones who depend on that care are outraged and discussed. The politicians in this state should pay as much attention to this as to their fundraising! Maybe then we could get some results!
What’s in…What’s out…
State Budget… the RI State budget finally passed Thursday with little fanfare and notice by the public. Sometimes I wonder if apathy is so prevalent that people really do not pay attention. I have asked several people complaining about the state, at gatherings and outings, who their State Representative or Senator is and no one knew. When asked they mentioned names of former council people or others who had not been in office for years. It seems strange but true. People really are so unaware of what goes on around them. But they will pay attention if their taxes go up or if the new budget effects their way of life in some way. For example, if fees or taxes increase and they have to pay more, they will pay attention.
I say this because it is so important to listen and watch. Yes the budget finally passed after a month long silent rumble which was negotiated in private. The public will learn what was agreed upon and the terms of this “so called “agreement “ or “ deal” within the following months. Stay tuned and be aware because it’s your money.
Motor Voter Registration Is law… Under new RI law, when you register your car, you will also be registered to vote unless you opt out. Now, we know many will not opt out and the voter lists will plummet. I still think this will have no bearing on getting the apathetic out to vote. But it will ensure that the ones who are politically motivated are registered. But then again, wouldn’t they have registered on their own anyway?
Facebook live lives… If you are a Facebook user, you may have seen that Facebook live is being used by local Television Channels 10,12 and six to report news, do promos, and give highlights and weather. The technology used is professional and the settings are casual and clear. And you can even type in a comment and they will respond to you live. It’s a new technology that rocks. Really it is so upbeat and the sets are great!
However, we see many others trying to establish Facebook live with little fanfare, poor sound and repetitive substance. It’s like watching a low budget horror film. But I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery, even if it doesn’t cut the ice!
Teen suicide on the rise… sad to say that experts are say smart phones are causing a rise in teen suicide because of social media use.
Children are getting cell phones at an early age and clearly are using social media to identify and find themselves. While smart phones and social media are a heartbeat of our lives today, they can also be a deadly weapon to enforce depression and heartache.
The example is clearly demonstrated in the court case in Massachusetts of
Michelle Carter who was found guilty of manslaughter in the suicide death of Conrad Roy III. Texting can be fatal in so many ways. This woman has ruined her life and was found guilty of texting her former boyfriend to encourage him to commit suicide. What have we come to? Clearly this woman has serious mental problems and is now out on appeal. A fifteen month sentence was rendered down but the victim’s family is furious.
Parents have to be more vigilant of their children in what they are doing and who they are doing it with. As a child, I remember the kids who were the bullies and how miserable they made it for the weak and vulnerable children.
The bullies have now found a new way to bully by texting and using social media. I call it “ Bullying by Cell” and it is done to the most vulnerable and week by the cowardly bullies who wouldn’t do it in person. It may be time for stricter laws regarding bullying abuse. But it certainly is time for Parents to be more vigilant. New times, new methods, new restrictions are the only way!
Water fire 🔥….water fire continues to be the main attraction in Providence…creator Barnaby Evans of Providence probably never envisioned his creation of fire on the water to be a major production in Providence. In the early days of water fire , we were treated to calm music with a peaceful serene setting. I attended water fire last week and realized the changes that have taken place. The city was a maze of street closings, food trucks , outdoor tables, and flashing lights. There were many boats in the water, something that was new to me, and the hustle and bustle of the waterway was not serene. It was a big difference from the original setting that water fire was famous for. I have always loved waterfire and thought of it as a classic example of the renaissance of Providence. Please let’s not make it a carnival of lights and distractions for the thousands of people who attend. Let’s not lose the ambiance that made it so popular.
Rocky Point Memorial Park…Who doesn’t remember our nostalgic Rocky Point park? Much money is being spent on the memorializing of “what has been” instead of what could be at Rocky Point. I’d like to see a family oriented Park emerge where families can gather to enjoy restaurants, outdoor activities and the beautiful scenery it was once know for. I want to envision what could be, not remember what once was and can never be again. So, leaders in this state should make a plan to preserve the memories but create new ones.
Budget Standoff…In what appears to be a political standoff of who has more power..The standoff continues. What’s even more unbelievable is that no one is speaking out against the standoff. All politicos in office are quiet. These are times when one has to rethink of who they supported for their State Representative or Senator and if they are representing us or themselves. Time for all of us to rethink and remember in November. I am.
Washington brass….The ongoing healthcare debacle in Washington… let’s get it together Congress… you can’t work together for the people! Shameful behavior by all regarding this health care issue. Americans need this to be resolved and a bipartisan compromise needs to be passed to help Americans and keep them in a healthcare system.
All the Presidents men…It seems the staff of the President and crew are not getting along. Well, who are we to talk? We have it going on here in little Rhody. Power plays by men and women who feel they are untouchable in their positions. This country has seen the worse behavior ever of their national elected officials and local as well. When will it end? It will end when the people remember in November!
Amusement Park And county fair rides…scary to think that you go on a thrill ride and it ends up being a horror trip! The latest casualties were in Ohio on a thrill ride that sent occupants flying through the air. How many people have to get hurt before stricter laws are passed about these carnival rides? Let’s protect our children from harm and start being more careful about amusement park safety.
What’s in…What’s out…
An end to the RI Budget standoff…in what seems reminiscent of a standoff between the House of Representatives and the Senate Chamber, is a glimmer of hope. The Senate President is poised to consider going back to pass the State Budget and the House Speaker is happy he’s considering passage without the car tax amendment. The Senate could be back as early as next week, pending getting a quorum together. After all, it is vacation time and many have made plans. Usually a 48 hour notice of convening a quorum is required. So what will happen if the Senate returns to pass the budget? Budget passage will ensure that the House of Representatives will return at a later date to pass bills which were left on the desk. Also in play, could be overrides of bills that Governor Raimondo vetoed. Will the much debated contract bill that was supported by the powerful teacher unions but opposed by the local mayors and leaders resurface for an override? Stay tuned.. it may get even hotter at the State House and there is no air conditioning in the Chambers!
Stages of Freedom..Ray Rickman’s Stages of Freedom opened last night at 10 Westminster street in a new location. Ray has worked hard to bring this project to fruition to educate others about Black history and culture. One of the closest projects to his heart is teaching black children how to swim. Kudos to Ray for keeping it real! Stop by the new location and please support our kids in this very important effort to keep them safe!
OJ Simpson paroled…In what was a televised parole hearing short of being called reality TV, OJ Simpson was paroled Thursday after serving nine years in prison for robbery charges of his own memorabilia. Simpson plans to move to Florida and looks forward to reuniting with family and friends. It’s time for OJ to move on and keep a low profile. This may be hard to do but it will be he only way for him to stay a free man. Regardless of what you may believe about the Simpson murder trail, you have to remember that Simpson was in jail for robbery and found not guilty on those murder charges. Lawyers have stated that nine years in jail for robbery was a steep sentence that he served in Nevada. Who knows what’s in store for OJ but one thing is for sure, we have not heard the end of him.
Cancer…In 1974 Richard Nixon declared war on cancer! Alas, here we are in 2017 and Cancer is rampant. The latest public victim of Cancer is Senator John McCain, who has been diagnosed with brain Cancer. We can all agree that McCain has served this country well with class and tremendous courage. I wish him well and pray for his recovery. And now is time for Congress to put more funding and efforts into Cancer cures and preventative testing.
What’s it going to take for Congress to wake up and smell the Cancer in this country?
Traffic Cameras…At least 20 new traffic camera locations will be added in Providence bringing the total to 45 traffic light cameras. The proposed new locations will be in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Providence mostly Broad and Westminster street locations. This may be a revenue making ordinance but how much money is the city really making? In the last two years the city has brought in $1.8 million and $1.3 million. The city is hoping to increase this amount with the new additional cameras.
Parking Meters…on a recent visit to a popular Federal Hill Bakery, I was greeted by parking meters on Spruce street. What a shame that our “renaissance city” has decided that we need to greet retailers with parking meters, especially during the summertime when tourists and visitors are frequenting our city. This certainly deters business retail and development and drives shoppers to other areas with free parking.
The National Governor’s conference….is showcasing Rhode Island this week. On stage is Providence and Newport premiering the best of both cities to approximately 30 Governors and over 2,000 guests. It’s a who’s who extravaganza of guest speakers on Friday including Vice President Mike Pence and Canadanian Prime Minister Trudeau. Conference guests will enjoy receptions at the State House, Providence Performing Arts Center, Waterplace Park and a clambake in Newport. Water fires 🔥 will be lit to entertain all the dignitaries and their guests. Every politico in the state has been invited and security is tight. It will be interesting to see the Providence Journal’s breakdown of expenses and where the money is coming from! Governor a Gina Raimondo premieres as Rhode Island’s first Woman Governor! Let the celebrations begin!
Local TV stations, WPRI (10), WJAR(10) WLNE (6)…have started live Facebook news promos and weather. You can now see news headlines and weather live on Facebook! The technology and sound is clear and professional, making it easy to watch! Kudos to these local stations for being even more accessible to news viewers.
The ever changing world of Healthcare… It’s scary to think that we place our lives in the hands of others so many times when we need a Hospital or medical care. The ever changing status of Healthcare has made us frustrated and worried over what’s to come. Increased prices in medicines, lack of home care for our most vulnerable and overcrowded hospitals have become the status quo. Nursing homes are overcrowded and hard to get in to unless you are lucky to get a room. Our loved ones who need rehabilitation on a 24 hour care , are stuck with a system that favors the wealthy and the connected. It’s expensive to get 24 hour care and pocket breaking if you need a nursing home. Will it ever change? While all or dignities and elite are enjoying lobster, drinks and water fire, our most vulnerable are sick and suffering and wondering if they will be taken care of tomorrow. So instead of fighting in Washington over who met who in the last election campaign, please get moving and do something for all the people who need it. ” The “Let them eat cake attitude is getting a lot overdone in this country”. It’s time for changes across the board! It starts with you! Vote early and make sure you know who you are voting for and if they are representing your interests, not theirs.
The General Assembly Budget Standoff…while people may think it is good for the Budget not to be passed, it is indeed costing cities and towns money. Losing state aid for our cities and towns, will only cause repercussions in the times ahead. It’s amazing to me that not one of our State Representatives Or Senators (not in leadership) has voiced an opinion publicly on this stalemate! Where does your local Rep or Senator stand? Meanwhile, I can say this to you all! In 1998, when I co-sponsored the original Car Tax Phase out plan, there was no such ammendment tacked on it and the General Assembly had no problem stopping the elimination of the car tax phase out repeatedly by freezing it and by stopping it completely. It seems like a lifetime ago, but things were better than, Egos were there but not like today where they are displayed as a badge of courage. I have to say, I have never seen anything like this and people should be contacting their state Representatives and Senators. Remember election year is right around the corner!
What’s in…What’s out…
Hand held cell phone ban bill has passed both the House and Senate chambers…This one has been around for years… and hopefully will be signed by the Governor and enacted into law. How often do we see someone driving with cell phone in hand and they are trying to make a turn but almost hit your car? This will make a big difference in our roads if it becomes law. They will be safer and better for all of us.
Governor’s free tuition plan… Regardless of the budget being at a standstill, the Governor vows to get the money to fulfill her tuition promise to RI students. She had some strong words to say about the General Assembly, “People shouldn’t have to suffer, because politicians can’t do their job”.
RI Partnership for Home Care…Shout out to Nicholas Oliver this week for working hard to protect some of most our vulnerable people in Rhode Island. He “ gets it” and knows how important these services are to our sick and seniors.
Standoff at RI State House…The standoff continues as the RI House and Senate hold their ground their “He said, He said” stand. Last Friday night Speaker Nick Mattiello banged the gavel and shut down The House of Representatives after a last minute amendment to the car tax was tacked on the budget. Anyone who has served in the General Assembly knows, the budget process takes months to do with many hours of debate and hearings by the House Finance committee. A great deal of work is done by Finance members who deserve some courtesy in this process.
There was a full week in between passage of the budget in the House and Senate. Plenty of time passed to put in an amendment with the House Finance Committee that could have been debated in an open forum. So why did the Senate put on a last minute amendment? Senator Ruggerio claims it resulted over concerns of the car tax issue being an unfunded mandate that could possibly dip into the rainy day fund. So why was it approved in the Senate Finance committee and changed last minute on the Senate floor? State House insiders say it happened because of an amendment to the much debated paid sick leave bill which passed the Senate. It’s scary to even think that one bill could have so much power to shut down a session and cause a standstill in the budget and bill process.
Did someone stamp their feet and cry foul?
Even though the state can operate on last year’s fiscal budget for awhile, there is no doubt that this is not good for the people of Rhode Island. So many good initiatives remain in limbo such as increased age for foster care from 18 years to 21 and free bus passes for seniors. This is hardball at it’s worse. Can one person call the shots at the state house? Are there some that are so powerful that they put their needs over so many others? I hope not.
The Governor has weighed in after several days of silence and ultimately has asked both the House and Senate to go back to work. Senate has said they will return in Fall to take up PawSox legislation while Speaker Mattiello has told WPRO’s Gene Valicenti, he has no plans to return anytime soon unless his form of the House budget is passed by Senate.
Well, something’s got to give. It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong anymore, everyone. You are elected to lead and that’s what you need to do! Sometimes you have to swallow really hard at the State House with an amendment to a bill you don’t like or a budget article that isn’t perfect. It’s called compromise for the good of all. No any one person is better than the institution our forefathers created. So in the words of N.E. Patriot coach Bill Belichick, “ Do your job”.
What’s in… What’s out…
The Rhode Island State Budget… for fiscal year 2018 was under debate Thursday and by the time you read this it may be one step closer to passage. Among the budget items up for passage is the rebirth of the car tax phase out plan of 1998. The plan is very similar to the car tax phase out plan passed in 1998. The car tax phase out plan is a six year plan. As you may remember, the plan passed in 1998 was frozen after only a few years and then totally discontinued in 2011 because of declining revenues and budget restraints. Will the General Assembly have the money to eliminate the car tax? It certainly is hard to predict what the fiscal condition of the state will be within the next several years. But a promise is a promise. And as a sponsor of the original car tax phase out plan in 1998, I found out that you can’t always predict what lies ahead. Economic policies and elected officials can change, sometimes overnight, and no one can predict what the future can bring or who will oppose the plan in the future. I am a believer that the car tax phase out plan is a commitment that was originally made to the people of this state in 1998 and am hopeful for its success – but I have my doubts. As the saying goes, “been there, done that, and bought the tee-shirt.”
The $9.2 billion state budget also includes… 2 Years Free Tuition at Community College of RI (CCRI)… A scaled down version of the Governor’s Free Tuition plan has emerged. Some changes were made to the plan including the elimination of the community service requirement and applicants must maintain a 2.5 average. And only CCRI. This is a big change from the Governor’s original plan. One has to wonder how much money was spent on commercials to promote Governor Raimondo’s tuition plan? It hardly seems like the outcome was a success considering the money spent on commercials and the free tuition campaigning done across the state.
Free RIPTA Bus Passes for Seniors… are also included in the budget. This is the right thing to do and one of those items that should never be cut.
Kudos to Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi… for sponsoring House bill 6295 that ensures that insurances fully cover mastectomies. With health insurers wanting to cover less and less, it’s important to put in legislation that protects us.
North Korea… North Korea finally releases Otto Warmbier in critical condition and he died a few days later. We are living in barbaric times. Do not send your children to places like North Korea or other countries where they have no value for human life. A travel ban should be issued for the countries who continually prove to be sadistic monarchies.
Rudeness and Disrespect and Bullying… have no place in our State House… It may be that some people were having a bad day, but please let’s not forget that the State House is the people’s house and treating its guests as unwanted guests just isn’t right. Not to mention that many who visit the State House are seniors who are much older than the people who work there. This wasn’t the first time that we’ve heard of such rudeness. It’s been around a long time and not just to people testifying. It can also happen to workers and colleagues there who disagree with the status quo. So please let’s not have our State House be the place that makes the laws but refuses to follow them.