What’s in…What’s out… this week..1-18-18…State of the State, PawSox Fever, For love of money and more….
The State of the state address…by Governor Raimondo painted a rosy picture of Rhode Island’s status on Tuesday night. The Governor highlighted accomplishments such as road repairs, the car tax phase out and education improvements but did not share the credit with local officials or lawmakers. Her speech was upbeat and positive but made no mention of the UHIP crisis, the PawSox bill or possible financial deficits. Maybe she is waiting for her budget address to tell us all just how much the UHIP crisis has cost the state and how much of a backlog there still is. And just maybe we will hear an accurate economic forecast for this year’s budget. The economic engines are running and it seems like it will be a steamy ride into 2018.
The PawSox Bill….has passed the Senate overwhelmingly and is on its way to the House Finance Committee. As I write this, Speaker Mattiello is planning a closed Democratic caucus on Thursday afternoon to discuss the PawSox proposal. Will he or won’t he? Inquiring minds want to know!
Even though the speaker has publicly stated that his constituency is against the proposal, he still has to listen to the opinions of his rank and file legislators. Some unions have decided to boycott Matiello’s fundraiser and other legislators. This being election year, that will not sit well with some legislators who depend on union support. Do not be surprised to see a change of heart and a floor vote on this topic. It’s not over till it’s over, or until the fat lady sings as they say!
The Line item veto bill…got a standing ovation from Senate members when the Governor mentioned it during her State of the State speech.
Many Senators seemed to favor the line item veto even though it is unpopular in the House Chamber. Now we all know the House primarily sets the Budget initiatives and this is not a favorite budget item of theirs.
It seems the Senate and the House are having some power plays over who is in charge or should I say, “Who’s the boss”?
The “Me too” movement has changed its name to #nomore in an effort to show solidarity for women abused. We all applaud the courageous women who stood tall and exposed their sexual harassers and abusers. At the recent golden globe awards, women celebrities wore black to show solidarity. One has to ask where was all this support when some of these women who knew of years of continued abuse remained silent. The power of Hollywood to cover up for the rich and powerful is a long standing tradition. The years of silence and turning the other cheek cannot be dismissed because some of these women chose to wear black. There are still sexual predators there and some of these actresses are still working for them. So, let’s be real everyone and not fall for their act. I won’t be watching these actresses, producers and actors who condoned this behavior and remained silent for the love of money. And I think a lot of people feel that way and Hollywood knows it.
Will Tom Brady be sitting this Sunday’s big game on bench? ..he has been placed on the injury list for an injury on his right hand. Say it ain’t so Tom! The Patriots have been on a winning streak and we all have Patriot fever! So let’s wish Tom a speedy recovery and hope for a win! Go Pats!
Shooting at Providence Place Mall…In what appears to be sketchy details, we learned that Providence Police have apprehended a 17 year old involved in the Monday night shooting at the mall. A nineteen year old was shot in the leg outside of Nordstrom’s. It is a shame that we have to be concerned for our safety even in a mall. More security inside and outside in the parking lot is needed. There were young children and families there and shootings like this discourage people from going there. It is bad for the businesses, employees and people who enjoy the mall. Our city cannot endure this violence. It’s dangerous, it’s scary and it isn’t what we hope to achieve as a community.
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative. She is a freelance journalist, consultant and writer. She has previously written commentary for the Providence journal, Golocal Prov and WPRO radio.