Dept. of Revenue Director Gallogly comments on pension issues and communities on the brink of state oversight.
Channel 10's Bill Rappleye interviews Justin about hidden profits from tax credit programs.
Addressing city's pension shortfall, Woonsocket budget commission faces another $7 million annual deficit, addressing $46 million gap over five years.
Justin writes live from a joint House & Senate Committee Hearing on casino legislation.
Continuing talk of the "skills gap" in RI's labor force (with the call for more resources) further defines the extent to which advocates are on the wrong path entirely.
A weekly roundup of Ocean State Current content.
As public officials debate the appropriate next steps for Woonsocket, the city's local pension plan provides an example for caution.
A Memorial Day reflection in verse.
The state government's negotiated take from proposed casino games at Twin River and Newport Grand would provide a sliver of relief from a swath of loss and may not be worth the shift to full-scale casinos.
Video of Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt moving to recommit S2872, an act authorizing a supplemental tax increase in Woonsocket.
Despite legally residing in Delaware, 38 Studios will be subject to Rhode Island's $500 minimum corporate tax.
The final part of this series groups communities by income and population change, finding clear distinctions suggestive of different strategies for moving the state forward.
News media too often goes for the flash, but Justin suggests that the impulse begins with the audience.
A quasi-public wind farm proposal is still flying below most Rhode islanders' radar and changing shape from month to month, the latest idea being to make it a subsidiary of the EDC.
Part 2 of The Current's long-running review of population and employment data assesses population, employment, and income trends across the cities and towns to develop a sense of how communities are shifting.
The Current's long-running review of population and employment data can lead to better understanding of who is being affected by public policy in Rhode Island and how. Part 1 reviews how the cities and towns compare right now.
An example of civil asset forfeiture in Northern Massachusetts adds punctuation to Justin's concerns about the local forfeiture windfall taken from Google.
Westerly's unemployment rate is better than RI's, but the reason appears to be the willingness or ability of its residents to drop out of the labor force when they aren't working.
A weekly roundup of Ocean State Current posts.
38 Studios has brought into stark relief the problems of government-run economic development.
Not only has RI's sharp drop in employment continued, but its trend is increasingly opposite that of the nation.
General Treasurer Gina Raimondo expresses concerns about a bill to bring Central Falls and other struggling pension systems into MERS.
Justin writes live from the RI Senate Committee on Finance, including Central Falls retirees and a path to MERS.
Sen. John Tassoni's wife lacked a license for her day care center, but he won't comment about whether RI's licensing regulations are too burdensome.
Using a police windfall award to (possibly) eliminate pension problems may seem like common sense, but when the dynamics of government are considered, Justin suggests rationality goes in the other direction.
Richmond has the second lowest unemployment in Rhode Island, but its longer term trends are arguably the healthiest.
Rhode Island has the seventh highest energy costs, and renewable energy standards are a likely contributor.
North Kingstown's low-for-RI unemployment rate disguises a town that hasn't grown much and now has an historically low number of employed residents.
It is definitely a matter of concern that 38 Studios may cost RI some large portion of the debt that it guaranteed, but Justin suggests a little perspective might be in order to learn from the experience.
During no period, from 1965 to 2000, did young, single college graduates increase in number in Rhode Island, according to the U.S. Census.
President Obama's staff has been promoting his agenda on the biographical pages of previous presidents.
Legislation bringing Central Falls and other municipalities into MERS limits pension cuts to 25% and may set precedent for repeated state bailouts.
New Shoreham's March unemployment of 29.5% (not seasonally adjusted) is high by any measure, but it may be more concerning that both summer peaks and winter troughs have been lower than any time since 1994.
In the name of encouraging more accurate thinking on marriage policy and encouraging concern that methods of imposing it could erode our rule of law, I've offered a quick analysis of Gov. Chafee's executive decree.
At 8.5% (not seasonally adjusted) Narragansett's unemployment rate is low, for RI, but the reason is that its labor force adjusts more than usual to gained and lost employment.
Government and public administration has moved up to 2nd on a list of fraud-prone industries, with health care and education climbing quickly.
A Portsmouth Institute conference on science and religion, this June, will allow a welcome diversion into weightier matters.
This week's roundup of Ocean State Current content.
A bill by Sen. Crowley and the Dept. of Revenue would allow cities and towns to use the state oversight process to move retirees into the state-run MERS pension system.
The specter of a double-dip recession brings into stark relief, for Justin, the lack of vision among those leading the state.
In keeping with past experience, Kauffman/Thumbtack study finds RI to be dead last in the nation for small business friendliness.
The General Treasurer's office clarifies, for the Current, a chart showing a brief period of pension investment returns below expectations.
Proposed Tiverton school budget up 58% since 2001; student enrollment down 14%. Per student, that's an 84% increase.
Hopkinton grew, in population and economically, over the last decade, but since 2010, employment has stagnated as the labor force recedes.
New methods of math education remind Justin of the math that professionals and politicians are using, even now, to conceptualize pension funds.
The urge to help children is noble, but taking easy shortcuts (i.e., passing laws) is a dangerous expression of the sentiment.
Throughout the '90s and most of the last decade, Exeter was on a path of growth, but 2007 brought an end to employment increases, and 2008 lost jobs. Now, the town's unemployment rate is 12.2% (not seasonally adjusted).
Al igual que un conductor que no sabe donde los edifi cios que solían ser, los que no conocen los canales secretos del gobierno de RI tienen tres opciones
RI requires licenses for the 14th highest number of lower-income occupations in the U.S., imposing the 22nd greatest overall burden, disproportionately affecting men and minorities, whom the recession has hit hardest.
Charlestown's unemployment puts it well above the overall rate for the state and results from more than four years of continual employment declines.
Justin liveblogs from a Tiverton School Committee that promises controversy over tactics used while advocating for particular budgets.
A jumble of news and commentary headlines leads Justin to wonder where the cause and effect lie in entitlement and nanny-statism.
Tax breaks for artists raise the question of why all Rhode Islanders shouldn't have more control over their own destinies
Woonsocket's number of employed residents has never been lower, in the 22 years of DLT data, and the only thing keeping its unemployment rate steady is the rapid decrease in labor force.
The New York Times' claim that President Obama has shrunk government shrivels under examination.
Local transportation funding is vulnerable to federal vicissitudes because it is entirely federal dollars build on a bed of local borrowing. That ought to raise questions among voters about the management of the state.
Despite some local journalists' reports, RI's Medicaid Global Waiver reform has saved $55.2 million within the first year and a half of implementation, and would have saved more but for ObamaCare and federal stimulus legislation.
Smithfield's unemployment rate has improved a little since 2010, but the reason is that its labor force has fallen off while its number of employed residents has mostly stagnated.
A (relatively light) weekly roundup of Ocean State Current content.
Scituate's employment and population trends aren't far from the typical RI town, and its not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is below the state's overall number. However, the town has been on a consistent downward drift for a number of years.
Although no employment pictures are positive, in Rhode Island, Providence's is a mixed bag. Still, all positive spin must be tempered with the fact that so few of its residents are interested in working, with only 40% actually employed. Its unemployment rate would be around 30% if it were like other cities and towns.
Standing in static comparison with other RI cities and towns, Pawtucket's employment statistics are bad, but not state-leading. It's the longer-term view of the city's decline that ought to be a matter of concern.
The intricate machinations suggested by Gary Sasse in the "tax-the-rich" debate raise the question of whether RI can afford the risk (or the wait) involved with technocratic designs.