A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Back in December, we wrote about the Rhode Island Foundation blazing a trail for health care reform by convening Rhode Island health care stakeholders and getting everyone to sign on to a reform agenda. A key plank of that agenda is expanding and developing “alternative reimbursement models that reward value and patient-centric care delivery.” Translation: let’s scrap fee-for-service.

A few weeks later, we learned that this movement may have a national impact, with the Obama administration borrowing much of the language and many ideas of the Rhode Island health care reform agenda. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced ambitious goals for moving Medicare payments away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement.

via A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

How is the Rhode Island Foundation Coalition-Building for Health Care Reform? – Health Policy | Grants | Inside Philanthropy

The first female Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, is going to have her work cut out for her with requests for all sorts of things — funding for everything under the sun, reform ideas from every political perspective, and, oh yes, health care — that little elephant in the room, costing us all a fortune, wreaking havoc on middle class and poor families, and making us look bad internationally for having the most bloated, ineffective system in the world.

Enter Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the Rhode Island Foundation, stage left. They bring with them many years of sustained investment in improving health care. Whitehouse founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute during his time as Attorney General and is a leading voice in Washington for health care delivery system reform. The Rhode Island Foundation has been funding health care initiatives since early in its history, and continues to look for and fund innovative ways to improve health care access and delivery.

via How is the Rhode Island Foundation Coalition-Building for Health Care Reform? – Health Policy | Grants | Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy.

Whitehouse Statement Opposing “Tax Extenders”

Talk about speaking truth to money! From the Whitehouse Press Office:

Floor Statement of Sheldon Whitehouse
On H.R. 5771
December 16, 2014

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr./Madame President, later this week, the Senate will likely take up and pass legislation to extend several dozen expired tax provisions. While I support a number of the individual provisions extended by this bill, I rise today to explain why I reluctantly plan to oppose it.

The so-called “tax extenders” package includes the one-year extension of a hodgepodge of over four dozen tax provisions. This extension is not for the year ahead of us, as one might reasonably expect, but rather for the year that’s mostly past us. In other words, we will be extending for 2014 tax programs that expired at the end of 2013. This means that, for the most part, the bill will offer credits and deductions to reward things that have already happened while doing absolutely nothing to help businesses and individuals plan for the future.

If tax policy is intended to influence behavior, the extenders bill is a double failure: it spends money rewarding things that have already happened and offers no incentives for businesses and individuals for the year ahead.

Let’s take for example the production tax credit for wind energy, a program I strongly support that encourages the construction of wind farms. The provision in the extenders bill offers this incentive for properties for which construction has commenced by the end of 2014. That’s three weeks from now. Instead of giving energy companies time to plan and prepare wind projects, we’re saying: if you happen to have one ready to go, you’ve got until the end of the holiday season to break ground. The clock is ticking.

In contrast to Congress’s temporary, year-to-year treatment of the wind tax credit and other incentives for renewable energy, Big Oil and Gas enjoy permanent subsidies in the tax code. It’s long past time to reform the tax code so it reflects America’s 21st Century energy priorities. Permanent incentives for oil and gas and temporary programs for renewable energy is simply upside-down public policy.

In total, there are 50 or so extensions in this bill, and the only thing they seem to have in common is that Congress repeatedly packages them together. It’s truly a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s start with some of the good provisions. In addition to clean energy incentives, the bill extends a popular tax credit that encourages businesses to hire veterans, a host of incentives for energy efficiency, and a provision that ensures that families that lose their homes in foreclosure don’t incur tax bills for the deficiencies. These provisions have strong bipartisan support.

Then there’s the bad: the unjustifiable tax giveaways. These include so-called “bonus depreciation,” a program that allows corporations to deduct the costs of equipment right away instead of spreading out the deductions over the life of the equipment. Congress first included this provision in 2009 in the Recovery Act when it made some sense. The idea was to encourage businesses to accelerate their purchases when the economy most needed the investments. We’ve extended it so many times, though, that now we’re just giving money away to corporations for buying things they would have bought anyway. That’s a nice subsidy for the businesses, but not a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

The bill also includes tax giveaways for NASCAR tracks and racehorses. While I know these sports are popular, it’s hard to justify subsidizing them with taxpayer dollars at a time when we’re running large deficits and face the prospect of more budget sequestration.

And then there’s the ugly, the stuff that does actual harm. There’s a pair of provisions in the bill–the “active financing” and “controlled foreign corporation look through” provisions–that reward U.S. corporations for shifting money overseas to avoid paying taxes. Sadly, there are already a number of provisions in the tax code that encourage companies to move operations and assets overseas. We should repeal those provisions, not enhance them as the extenders bill does.

This one-year, retroactive mixed bag of extensions will increase the budget deficit by over $41 billion. To put that figure into perspective, that’s more than the annual budget for the entire Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier this year, my senior Senator from Rhode Island, Jack Reed, lead an effort to extend unemployment benefits for the millions of Americans who have struggled to find work in this uneven economic recovery. Republicans repeatedly filibustered his unemployment insurance legislation, with many citing the $17 billion price tag and the offsets included to pay for it.

I expect many of these same Republicans will vote to pass the $41 billion tax extenders bill, legislation which is not offset and will add to the deficit. If Republicans are truly as worried about the deficit as many of them claim to be, they need to raise these concerns consistently and not forget them when it’s convenient. Spending through the tax code is still spending, and we should offset it.

Mr./Madame President, next year this body will have new leadership and a fresh opportunity to tackle our nation’s problems. I hope Senate Republicans will show us they can exercise the power of being in the majority responsibly. President Obama says he is eager to work with the Republican majority on several major bills including tax reform. I too am eager to work with Republicans on sensible, responsible tax reform—reform that ends the era of year-to-year extensions, eliminates wasteful tax spending, and decreases the deficit. I thank the chair, and I yield the floor.

Block Island Wind Farm Transmission Line: Yay!

From the Whitehouse Press Office:

RI Delegation Lauds Approval of Block Island Wind Farm Transmission Line

Washington, DC – Yesterday the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has offered a right-of-way (ROW) grant to Deepwater Wind Block Island Transmission System, LLC (Deepwater Wind) for the Block Island Transmission System (BITS).  The announcement paves the way for the installation of a transmission line to carry energy from the Block Island Wind Farm to the Rhode Island mainland, and to give island residents access to the mainland electric grid.

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, strong supporters of the offshore wind project, released the statements below praising the announcement:

“This decision by the BOEM marks the first right-of-way grant offered in federal waters for renewable energy transmission, a significant distinction for Rhode Island.  As the country reduces its dependence on oil, coal, and other fossil fuels, Rhode Island has the potential to benefit from this emerging renewable energy industry, while helping to chart its future,” said Senator Jack Reed (D-RI).

“The Block Island Wind Farm will bring cleaner and more affordable energy to Block Island’s residents while helping Rhode Island access the tremendous economic and environmental potential of our offshore wind,” said Whitehouse.  “It’s a milestone in our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy, and I’m proud that Rhode Island is leading the way.”

“Rhode Island has championed so many environmental conservation efforts and we are truly leading by example with the country’s first offshore wind farm.  This exciting news from BOEM is further evidence of our state’s important role in a nationwide movement to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and create a cleaner, more sustainable energy infrastructure now and for the future,” said Congressman Langevin, a founding member and energy task force chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.

“Rhode Island is leading the way in a clean energy future and this announcement marks important progress in the Ocean State and across the nation in harnessing renewable energy sources,” said Cicilline.  “I’m pleased to join with my colleagues in supporting this project, and I look forward to charting the economic and environmental progress this project represents in the coming years.”

Three Progressive Democrats Contend for Governor in Rhode Island Primary

govs-3Greetings everyone! This election season Governor’s race has been a tough one for progressive democrats in Rhode Island. With over $5 million spent by Raimondo alone, and the top five candidates spending over $10 million total, I often feel like I am in the midst of a media blitzkrieg.  Multiple negative glossy mailers show up daily on my doorstep and messages inundate me on Facebook and Google.  Luckily, I don’t watch television, and candidate ads haven’t invaded Netflix.  Hopefully they never will.

This election presents a difficult challenge for me.  As a feminist and the mother of two daughters, I want so much to have a female Governor for the state, and yet I lack confidence in Raimondo’s ability to maintain an objective stance on how to best invest pension dollars. I am impressed with Angel Taveras and have been since he took over as Mayor of Providence.  Then there’s Pell who seems to represent hope for a new vision, someone with the best kind of experience in politics — the least. They say it’s the fresh ones who get new content onto the table.

But then again, freshness is not always a good thing in politics, because freshness in politics could mean you are more easily tricked or deceived — you haven’t seen or played many of the games. So then I’m back to Angel Taveras who has done well for the city of Providence, especially considering the mess he was handed.  Taveras also seems to be something of a peacemaker between warring factions, as he managed to bring together some unions and the city for contract negotiations.  Raimondo seems to be more polarizing — it could have something to do with her taking the most audacious step of any state in the USA in terms of cutting back state and city worker pension benefits with the removal of their 3% cost of living adjustments until the unfunded liability has been sufficiently cleared up.

As you can see, I had a lot of questions for the candidates.  About a month ago, I contacted the campaigns to see if they would answer 8 questions for my blog, and finally rounded them up and arm-twisted enough to get some answers.  Taveras goes first, then Raimondo, and last Pell, not because I put them in that order for outcomes on Tuesday, but because that is the order in which they arrived in my inbox. I also contacted Todd Giroux, who did not respond.

 1. In a twitter nutshell (140 characters), why should I vote for you?

Taveras:  Experience matters. RI needs a Gov who not only has plans & ideas but can also deliver-as Mayor I put people first & delivered for our city.

Raimondo:  RI is in a jobs crisis. I have the experience to be the jobs governor & get people back to work. I’ve proven that I can solve big problems.

Pell:   I’m focused on solving problems not attacking my opponents. I’m not beholden to special interests. I bring new ideas to our broken politics.

2. What do you see as the reason so few people vote? What can regular citizens do to get more connected and active in the community?

Taveras:  People need to believe that government is on their side and that their voice matters. I want to be a Governor who empowers people to make a difference in their community. If time or something else is standing in the way, start small by taking one issue that you care about or that is important to you and learning more about it. I believe the more you learn, the more you will want to learn and get involved. Voting, volunteering, and getting involved in the community and in issues that you care about makes a difference. It makes us stronger.

Raimondo:  This election is the most important election we’ve had in decades. We’ve consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and families are struggling. We can’t have more of the same.

Government has to work and Rhode Islanders need confidence that elected officials are making decisions that are in the best interest of everyone, not just the insiders and special interests. I’m asking for all Rhode Islanders’ votes because I’ve shown that I will be a governor who does what is right for all Rhode Islanders. This election is too important to sit on the sidelines.

Pell:   As Governor, I will empower people and engage our residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations to build a strong and vibrant economy. I have heard from so many people that they want to be more involved, but state government doesn’t listen or reflect them.  I have a comprehensive and strategic plan for Rhode Island that builds on the incredible assets and people we are so fortunate to have in this state.

One idea I have proposed to engage people in, is the Hope Internship Program to ensure Rhode Island is the first state to offer every public high school student the opportunity to participate in a career training internship. The Hope Internship experience will provide generations of Rhode Island students with the opportunity to identify a career path, or spark the desire to attend college. Businesses and nonprofits will be able to connect with our public schools and provide critical real-world experiences for our high school students.

3. My friend Julie (not her real name) is very worried about her change in pension as a retired public school teacher. What do you have to say to her?

Taveras:  I believe we should negotiate with our unions and retirees to come to a fair resolution that respects our pledge to workers and still aims to protect our state from massive unfunded liability. With my record as Mayor, I believe we can do both. I negotiated with Police, Fire, Teachers, City Workers, and retirees. By doing so we were able to turn a $110 structural deficit into a surplus. The same can be done at the state level.

With me as Governor along with a new Treasurer, I believe we will find a settlement with our teachers, police, firefighters, state workers, and retirees that moves Rhode Island forward but still respects working families.

Raimondo:  Julie should know that her pension is secure and will be there for the long-term. We fixed the pension system to protect people’s pensions and ensure that our state has the resources to invest in moving our state forward.

Pell: I understand your friend’s concerns as I hear from many retirees and active employees about their pension changes and the uncertainty of their benefits. As Governor, I will truly listen to those affected by reforms in our pension system and work with stakeholders to achieve real pension security. I am concerned that the current pension reform is tied up in a lengthy court process and that the decision of one Judge could determine the pension benefits for current and future retirees. I am committed to providing fair and predictable retirement security for our employees that dedicate their careers to public service and will work hard every day to support their dedication.

4. Do you think Rhode Island corruption is better than it used to be? If so, in what ways?

Taveras:  We must always be on guard and fight against corruption. We can always do better. Justice Brandeis said that “sunshine is the best disinfectant.” I believe that. Restored Ethics Commission oversight is an important first step. We must always fight for greater transparency and openness and we must hold wrongdoers accountable. That is what I have done as Mayor and that is also what I would do as Governor.

Raimondo:   The real problem is the “know a guy culture” that favors insiders and the well-connected. Everyone should be treated the same and you shouldn’t get special treatment regardless if you are a famous baseball player or related to an elected official.

Pell:  For too long, Rhode Island’s politics-as-usual system of cynicism, cronyism and unethical decision-making has damaged the state’s reputation. It has eroded people’s faith in government, and made it harder to do business, raise a family and enjoy a high quality of life. The government of Rhode Island must be transparent and ethical; it must conduct the people’s business with the highest ethical standards; and it must create systems to ensure government activities are held accountable if wrongdoing occurs.

I am the only candidate to propose a detailed Government Integrity plan to use the powers of the Governor’s Office to: improve the transparency of state agencies, require code of ethics training, improve customer service in state agencies, bring more transparency to the budget process, connect with constituents more regularly, encourage flexibility to achieve regulatory compliance, and reform regulatory enforcement.

I am committed to setting the bar for transparency- both in my Administration and in my campaign. That’s why I’ve pledged not to accept contributions from Political Action Committees (PACs) or state lobbyists, and that’s why I am the only candidate in this race that has taken the unprecedented step to disclose five years of my tax returns to the Providence Journal. I look forward to earning your trust and confidence, and demonstrating that the Governor’s Office and my Administration will be open and accessible to all voices.

5. As a freelance writer, I often compete with other writers in India and the Arab Emirates, among other countries, for jobs. What are your thoughts on globalization and the changes it will bring to American labor and the economy?

Taveras:  Globalization is a reality. Our state and our country need to be able to compete on a global scale. That means ensuring that we have a properly trained workforce. We need to close our skills gap and ensure we are teaching our students the skills they need to be prepared to succeed in the jobs that exist today and tomorrow. It means we need to have a competitive economy. We need to look at all sectors as opportunities for growth and build a diverse economy. In Rhode Island, it also means taking advantage of the amazing assets we have right here from our colleges and universities to our hospitals and research facilities. It means taking advantage of our ports, our proximity to rail and our location on the eastern seaboard. We have much that sets us apart. We can do more to compete in a global economy.

We also need to start thinking in the long term and realize that we cannot be successful if we do not start investing in our people. That means improving education across the board from early childhood education on. We need to recognize this is a long term investment not only in our kids but also in the communities in which they live as well as in the future of our state.

Raimondo:  The story of Rhode Island is we used to make things here. Thousands of people worked in jewelry and textile manufacturing. But then tens of thousands of those jobs left our state and we didn’t position ourselves for new industries.

Right now manufacturing is coming back from Asia for the first time in decades. As governor, I will be focused on making sure we are getting those jobs here in Rhode Island. We can make Rhode Island a leader in manufacturing again by turning the good ideas coming out of our colleges and universities into products we make here. My plan will make Rhode Island a leader in manufacturing again by building on areas of strength: marine science, food science, medical devices and industrial design.

Pell:  As someone who has worked across the globe and led the world language programs at the U.S. Department of Education, I have seen firsthand how connected the global economy is and how we must prepare our students, workforce, and businesses to compete in this global economy. Preparing students to be successful in the workforce means they have to be better equipped to participate in a regional, national and global economy. Rhode Island’s public schools must provide learning opportunities that extend beyond Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and promote skill development that will position students for success in this changing economy. I strongly support offering world languages, international connections, arts, and after school activities including sports to provide multiple pathways for student success.

“From 2010 – 2013, Rhode Island exports have increased by 60 percent, from $1.5 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2012. An estimated $11 million in sales and more than 500 new jobs resulted from trade missions to Israel, Japan, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Canada in the past year alone. Rhode Island companies have also estimated another $5.3 million in sales from their participation in international trade shows” (Rhodemapri.org). Businesses in Rhode Island could have more growth opportunities if they had access to, or could afford export training and assistance. Additionally, the success of strategic trade missions has demonstrated the potential of Rhode Island businesses when they are connected with global opportunities.

As Governor, I will:

  • Lead Commerce RI to develop a two year trade mission strategy starting in 2015 to increase the global network of opportunities for Rhode Island businesses.
  • Increase the resources available for export training and technical assistance provided by the International Trade Office at Commerce RI to businesses. Additional resources would allow the Office to help develop more individual business plans and training that leads to successful export and import ventures for Rhode Island businesses.
  • Increase the number of businesses that receive Export Management Training Grants.
  • Leverage my multilingual abilities and my international experience to promote and attract talent and business to Rhode Island and help to identify more export opportunities.

6. What are the top 3 things we need to do to make Rhode Island a better state?

Taveras:  We need to grow a diverse economy – from technology to tourism and everything in between – to get people back to work. I have introduced several plans that would help do that. My plan for the Ocean State Infrastructure Trust will invest $800 million over the next fifteen years to help our cities and towns make needed repairs to our roads, bridges and schools, putting as many as 4,500 people back to work right away. My plan Training Rhode Island will provide much needed job training and close our skills gap by pairing our community college system with employers who are looking to hire right now. The goal through the program is to create 5,000 new jobs. My plan Discover Rhode Island will invest $5 million per year in Rhode Island arts, culture and tourism to grow our tourism industry, bringing additional visitors and tax revenue into our state, and getting Rhode Islanders working again. The plan pays for itself over time and can create 2,600 jobs.

I also believe we need to improve our education system. Education can have a profound impact on a child’s life. It can be the path out of poverty. I know because it is the path I’ve traveled. That is why my first policy proposal as a candidate was Ready Rhode Island, my plan for Universal Pre-K. We need to support our students from cradle to career. My most recent plan Rhode Island Achieves, which begins with providing each Rhode Island newborn with a CollegeBoundfund, works to improve k-12 education in our state and makes college more affordable is an example of that.

Finally we need to restore hope and pride in our state. I have said that Rhode Islanders are going to save Rhode Island – I believe that we will. We have the knowledge, the talent and the ingenuity to do so. Working to get our economy on track is a big first step, improving our education system is another one. We need to celebrate and promote all that is right with our state. There is no doubt that we have work to do – but we also have much to be proud of. It’s time to recognize that within our state and to promote it far and wide.

Raimondo:  Jobs, jobs, jobs. Rhode Island is a great place to live. We have fantastic beaches, amazing restaurants, great colleges and universities and a great location in between Boston and New York City. But we need to create good, high-skill, high-pay jobs.

Pell:  The foundation of economic growth in Rhode Island is to invest in a world class education system, rebuild and maintain high-quality infrastructure, and leverage what is unique about the Ocean State. My economic strategy details specific actions that build on this foundation to ensure all Rhode Islanders have the opportunity to participate in the state’s economic recovery.

The implementation of this economic strategy will lead to:

  • A more competitive business environment for Rhode Island;
  • An increase in career opportunities for all Rhode Islanders;
  • A greater emphasis on the unique attributes our state has to offer;
  • A greater confidence in the fiscal stability of the state; and,
  • A clearly defined economic vision that provides direction for future growth.

My entire economic strategy can be read at: http://claypell.com/issues

7. What advice would you give to young people in our state?

Taveras:  I believe the best gift you can give yourself is to study hard and get a good education. Education is a great equalizer. I know from my own experience that it is the path to a better life. Educate yourself as much as you can. Be involved in your community. Speak up and speak out against injustice.

I would also ask them not to give up hope. We live in the best state in the country. Better days are ahead.

Raimondo:  I want young people to stay here. I’ve called for a student loan forgiveness program that will help graduates stay in Rhode Island to work or start a business.

Pell:  Seek out every new experience you can.  Whether it’s a new subject in school, a classmate you might not have talked to before, or a different sport or job – try something you haven’t before.  One reason I’m going to establish the Hope Internship Program (so that every public high school student can participate in an internship experience) is how transformative it can be to experience a field to which you might not have otherwise had exposure when thinking about careers you might pursue.

8. What will you do to reduce income inequality in Rhode Island?

Taveras:  I would note many of the things that I have already mentioned will help to reduce income inequality. Improving our state’s education system cannot be undervalued. Getting our economy back on track and building a diverse economy figure prominently in ensuring there are good, quality jobs available for all our citizens. Improving job training so that we can ensure a better-skilled workforce and higher paying jobs is part of that. And finally we need to raise the minimum wage as quickly as possible.

Raimondo:  Income inequality is a huge problem. I’ve called for an Office of Economic Empowerment in order to make sure that all Rhode Islanders have access to economic opportunity and that we are addressing chronic problems like homelessness and hunger with a focus on results.

But the most important thing we can do to reduce inequality is to create good jobs and equip Rhode Islanders with the skills employers are looking for. I’ll be a governor who will turn around this economy around in a way that leaves no one behind.

Pell:  Too many Rhode Islanders are still paying a price because of barriers they simply should not face. In the workplace, housing, education, and the countless interactions that make life rich and fulfilling, many still do not enjoy full participation in the life of our state. That is why we must commit to nothing less than opportunity for all Rhode Islanders.

We can end the inequality and discrimination women experience in employment and healthcare; we can break down the barriers faced by our fellow citizens with disabilities to ensure they have a fair chance to gain meaningful employment; we can close achievement gaps in education and in the workplace for minorities; and we can build on the progress of marriage equality by pushing for true and unequivocal equal rights for our LGBT friends and neighbors. If we seize the future committed to equality for all Rhode Islanders, it will be a more prosperous future for us all.

I have proposed a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda because we must do more to empower women in Rhode Island and remove barriers to their success. We must promote diverse career opportunities for young women and increase their access to education and workforce development programs. We must develop multiple career pathways and encourage women to pursue careers traditionally held by men including transportation, engineering, construction and farming. We must address the ongoing scourge of pay inequity as well as increasing the minimum wage. Across all these areas we can make Rhode Island a national leader for women’s equality and empower women to achieve the same levels of success and advancement as their male counterparts.

I am the only candidate that has called for an immediate raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. I am the only candidate that opposed the recent estate tax break for the wealthy funded by gutting property tax relief for low-income people. I am the only candidate to provide specific responses to the Chamber of Commerce questionnaire on difficult questions that others were unwilling to respond to. I will stand with working Rhode Islanders who have been squeezed out of the economy by special interests and widening income inequality.

My Analysis of the Responses

If this were the only test to see who should win the primary, I would have to say that Taveras wins in my book.  His answers were more thorough and comprehensive, and spoke to the details of his own experiences as Mayor.  I actually got the impression he put some real thought into them.  Raimondo seemed rushed, like she just wanted to get the whole thing over with.  I realize these are hectic times at campaign central, but her answer to a question about the three things we need to do for the state of Rhode Island was:  “jobs, jobs, jobs”? I’m pretty sure that answer won’t get you out of the 3rd grade, never mind a top job in public office.

And then there’s Pell.  Generally, he had a lot to say.  That’s what you do when you don’t have a lot of experience.  A friend of mine on Facebook, a retired teacher who seems to be supporting Pell, commented that he doesn’t look at what people say, he looks at what they do.  And that’s my biggest problem with Clay Pell.  He has not done a lot in the state for us to look at.  But he does have some very good ideas.




Petition the RI Legislature: Pass Senate Bills 2368 and 2369 and House Bills 7841 and 7842 to fund the RI Center for Law and Public Policy | Change.org

I have been on the Board of the Rhode Island Center for Law and Public Policy since its inception in 2008 and have watched as this organization has grown to have an amazing impact on the lives of Rhode Islanders in need of legal services, particularly the elderly, poor families, and small businesses.  I ask you to sign this petition to ask the legislature to put these bills to a vote, so that if there is sufficient public support, RICLAPP can be sustained.  Thank you, Kiersten Marek

Petition | Pass Senate Bills 2368 and 2369 and House Bills 7841 and 7842 to fund the RI Center for Law and Public Policy. | Change.org.

Perception is Something People Care About — Chafee Caves to Angus Davis

Angus Davis feels better, so I guess everything is right and good in the fiefdom of downtown Providence.  Lame duck Governor Chafee is not feeling like having a big fight, so Angus will get his way.  As the new corporate zoning Czar for the city, I wonder if Mr. Davis would consider helping to rehabilitate the poor and downtrodden, rather than just exiling them from his high tech encampment.

Read more from Natasha Lennard at Salon.