Polls are open today in Rhode Island, and even though it’s still not yet 6 a.m. we’re going to go out on a limb and call the primary for Obama. If you need a hand figuring out which delegates to support for the Democratic Convention, see our endorsements here. But it’s also a hugely busy day at the State House.
The House Finance Committee will take up the controversial tax equity bill that would raise income taxes for Rhode Island’s richest residents. And Rhode Island’s environmental coalition will hear from Gov. Chafee in the rotunda this afternoon before it unveils its 2012 legislative agenda, expected to include transportation funding, voter referendums for open space and clean water and a better way to discard of garbage.
Additionally, two House members from very different sides of the aisle will have their very different bills on in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants heard in committee at 1 p.m. Rep. Grace Diaz’ bill will codify into legislation the decision made by the Board of Governors for Higher Education last year allowing anyone who finished three years of high school in RI to qualify for in-state tuition “regardless of immigration status.” And Rep. Doreen Costa’s bill would “prohibit anyone who cannot prove U.S. citizenship or permanent residency from receiving in-state tuition rates and fees at public higher education institutions.”
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled his budget proposal last night, which could help right the fiscal ship in the Capital City. But it’s contingent on some factors beyond the city’s control, such as the outcome of the inevitable lawsuit over his pension reform efforts. Here’s the brief that appears in today’s New York Times.
Conservatives like to defend Citizens United by claiming that it gives liberal groups the right to raise unlimited campaign money as well, which is true but irrelevant since the majority of big time donors support the GOP. In fact, 8 of the ten biggest Super PACS support Republicans.
California will vote on banning the death penalty this November. Too bad a plurality of executions in the US take place in Texas.
Had Rhode Island partnered with instead of fighting the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the state would have been well ahead of the regional casino trend rather than well behind it. Can’t blame the Narragansetts for suing us.
This page may be updated throughout the day. Click HERE for an archive of the RI Progress Report.