Saturday, May 28, 2016

NBC 10 I-Team: Affordable housing 'out of reach'

By EMILY VOLZ, NBC 10 NEWS |Monday, May 16th 2016

The "Out of Reach" report released... by the National Low Income Housing Coalition highlights just how many local families are struggling to pay rent.

Rhode Island boasts some of the highest housing costs in the country, and in Massachusetts it's even worse.

The average Rhode Islander, making minimum wage, would need to work 79 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. That's two full-time jobs.

Full Story

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Promise of Automatic Voter Registration‏

Automatic and Permanent Voter Registration: How It Works [Full Document]
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

The ultimate goal of reform is universal voter registration, where every eligible voter is on the rolls, only eligible voters are on the rolls, and the government takes responsibility to build the rolls and automatically updates voters’ records where possible. To achieve this goal, states must take concrete steps to modernize their voter registration systems. A fully modern system has the following features:
  1. Automatic Registration:  State election officials automatically register all eligible citizens who interact with government offices, using reliable information from those government lists. All are given the chance to decline registration — nobody is registered against their will. Many states have already taken one important step in this direction: adopting electronic, paperless, and seamless registration at agencies, and reaping substantial benefits. Automatic registration takes this one step further by shifting the onus of voter registration to the government.
  2. Portability: Once an eligible citizen is on a state’s voter rolls, she remains registered and her records move with her.
  3. Online Access: Voters can register, check, and update their registration records through a secure and accessible online portal.
  4. Safety Net: Eligible citizens can correct errors on the voter rolls or register before and on Election Day.
RI, HP reach deal to finish long-delayed DMV computer project [Full Story]
By Ted Nesi
 Published: November 11, 2015, 6:11 pm  |  Updated: November 11, 2015, 9:20 pm
After nearly 10 years, officials insist $16.5M system will launch in September 2016

NBC 10 I-Team: North Providence judge paid while not on the job | WJAR‏

By PARKER GAVIGAN, NBC 10 NEWS |Thursday, May 12th 2016
NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Forty-seven paychecks were paid out over 21 months.
The part-time job was worth $609 a month, $14,016 in total, according to payroll records obtained by the NBC 10 I-Team.

But the employee was no longer on the job.

"I will answer the questions. I will take the blame. I will take the heat, as we take all the 'attaboys' when good things happen," North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi said.

The mayor appointed Louis DeQuattro Jr. to the town's municipal court, as a judge, in August 2011. By the end of March 2014, he stopped hearing cases.

Mark Patinkin: R.I. taxpayers bankroll union training

By Mark Patinkin
Journal Columnist  
 Posted May. 14, 2016 at 8:29 PM

On the surface, many of the state's controversial community grants seem to be for good causes.
Like $18,000 to an AIDS group and $2,800 to the Samaritans.
But an odd one jumped out at me.

For decades, taxpayers have been giving big bucks to an outfit whose main mission is training union leaders...

"The Institute for Labor Studies has always considered the education of union stewards and labor leaders to be its primary mission."

They even offer classes on how to file a grievance, appeal a denied disability pension and lobby on union issues. That last one's odd since nonprofits aren't supposed to be political, but ILSR is so blatant that one of its courses teaches "collecting money for political campaigns."

Full Story

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Mayor and Council contingency accounts

Daniel McGowan
May 15 at 10:25am · Providence, RI
all expenditures from the mayor and council contingency accounts dating back to the 2006-2007 fiscal year...

Mayor's account - 2006-2013

City Council President Account - 2006-2013

City Council Finance Account - 2006-2013

Mayor & Council combined FY 2014

Mayor & Council combined FY 2015

Mayor & Council combined FY 2016

Proposed Ethics Commission Bill

House Bill 8189

The legislation, which was introduced at a press conference with leadership from both chambers at the State House on Tuesday, May 10, seeks to eliminate legislative immunity from Ethics Commission oversight through a constitutional amendment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

LWV SK/Narraganset forum: Public Record's: A Citizen's Right - broadcasts

On March 29, 2016 the League of Women Voters of South Kingstown/Narragansett held a forum on

Public Record's: A Citizen's Right

The video of the Pubic Records Forum will be aired the following dates/time Statewide:

May 1st/Sunday@2:00pm
  Cox-channel 13
  Verizon-channel 32

May 8th/Sunday@2:00pm
  Cox-channel 13
  Verizon-channel 32

The forum was funded by the LWVRI Education Fund