Monday, May 14, 2018

Is there enough affordable housing in your town?

By PBN Staff -
May 6, 2018 12:15 am

The 2017 Housing Fact Book from HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University notes that households earning the state’s median income of $56,852 in 2016 could afford the median-priced single-family home in only four of Rhode Island’s ­municipalities. For affordable housing advocates, that is not enough to meet the needs of the state’s families. They argue that more affordable housing needs to be built across the state, in every community. What do you think about the state of housing where you live?

PBN Survey

Life or Death for Fane Tower?


TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018, 4:45 PM Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

6. Referral 3429 – Rezoning of a portion of AP 20 Lot 397 Petitioner: Fane Organization, Jason Fane and I-195 Commission The petitioner is proposing to create a new height subdistrict – D-1-600 – in the D-1 zone, and rezone AP 20 Lot 397 from D-1-100 to D-1- 600. The additional height is intended to allow for construction of a high rise residential building on the site. The petitioner is also proposing to change the zoning ordinance so that the Downtown Design Review Committee may waive regulations relating to building height, massing and required transition lines – for action (AP 20 Lot 397, Downtown)
Full Agenda

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Report: R.I. pensions carry $2.4B in unfunded liability

Chris BergenheimMay 7, 2018 11:02 am
Providence Business News

PROVIDENCE – General Treasurer Seth Magaziner released the report of the Advisory Council for locally administered pension plans last week, and included a new feature, a “report card” for each pension plan, both open and closed, in the state.

The annual report on pension plans began in 2016, when the General Assembly formed the advisory council for pension plans.

This year’s report reviewed the 34 local plans, 20 open plans and 14 closed plans. The plans had a combined $2.4 billion in unfunded liabilities. One-third of the plans in the state were less than 60 percent funded, which the report has deemed in “critical status.”

Thirteen pensions have seen their funding status decrease across the four years ending in fiscal 2016. Seventeen pensions have seen their funding status improve in that time. The report also noted that 12 plans have assumed rates of return at or below 7 percent, which it says indicates that the plans are less likely to face future unexpected shortfalls.
Full Story

How much is Providence Water really worth?

The Objective Facts Behind Elorza’s Plan to Sell Providence Water
Posted on May 6, 2018
By Providence Rules
A project on transparency in government, regulation, law and politics.
Created by Johanna Harris.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s plan to monetize the city’s water supply is ideal material for a four-part mystery series with a twist ending.

In part one, entitled Status Quo, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission keeps the lid on the rates charged by Providence Water, constraining the utility to earn a zero rate of return. (Yes, zero.) So it’s a mystery why any potential buyer of the city’s water supply would have the remotest incentive to do so.
Full Story

Saturday, April 7, 2018

It can be hard to understand how state government works and why policies can be slow to change. See Votes RI is using maps to explore issues important to Rhode Islanders by visualizing endorsements, rankings and votes by RI state senators and representatives. Get to know your elected officials.

Gun Control
Reproductive Rights
Earned Sick Time

Saturday, March 31, 2018

League Day at the State House on April 3 - Seth Magaziner

RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner will be the featured speaker at League Day at the State House on April 3, 2018. His focus will be the new school upgrade plan coming out of Governor Raimondo's Rhode Island School Building Task Force that Magaziner co-chaired.

Agenda for Tuesday April 3rd at the Governor's Reception Room
3 P.M. Social Hour - Meet and Greet - Outside the Governor's Reception Room
4 P.M. League Program
5 P.M. RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner speaks to the League

Please bring your friends and invite your General Assembly representatives to attend.

RI leaders meet to discuss concerns with census trial run

By: Dan McGowan 
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 02:04 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - With the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census stoking fear that many immigrants will ignore the survey altogether, a group of Rhode Island leaders met privately in Central Falls Wednesday to discuss how the question may impact the country’s only trial run happening in Providence County. Full Story