March 12, 2012

The Current Week, 03/05/12-03/10/12

Justin Katz


Jennifer Hushion: Why RI Is Driving Us Out - Opinion
Jennifer Hushion explains why her family is considering moving out of Cranston and Rhode Island


Star Kids for the Children Left Behind - Interview/Profile
The Star Kids Program, in the East Bay, helps the children that Rhode Island might otherwise leave behind to close the graduation gap.
03/06/12 - RI Senate Judiciary Hearing - Liveblog
Justin writes live from the RI Senate Judiciary hearing, including bills addressing campaign finance and straight-ticket voting.

Campaign Finance Reform Targeting National Organizations Worries Local Groups - Analysis
Campaign finance reform legislation currently under review in the RI General Assembly targets large national organizations and companies but has small local groups fearing that their speech (and donations) will be chilled.
03/08/12 - RI House Labor Committee Hearing - Liveblog
Justin writes live from the RI House Labor Committee Hearing, dealing mainly with binding arbitration and perpetual contracts.

03/10/12 - RISC Winter Meeting - Liveblog
Justin writes live from the RISC Winter Meeting at the Radisson Hotel.
Video of 2012 RISC Winter Meeting - Liveblog
Video of RISC's 2012 Winter Meeting, featuring Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Woonsocket Mayor Loe Fontaine, Providence advisor Gary Sasse, and Rep. Larry Ehrhardt.

Justin's Case

Complete Streets Legislation Takes Build-It-and-They-Will-Bike Approach - Analysis
The General Assembly is considering legislation that would require Department of Transportation preference of "complete street" designs, but the cost and demand for new regulations appears not to have been thoroughly assessed.
Each Family a Royal Family, but Only If Rights Persist - Opinion
Family and voluntary associations (including those defined geographically, like villages) are a necessary source of authority to oppose ever-expanding government.
Incentive for Psychoses in a Therapeutic Culture - Opinion
A Swedish man disabled by his love of heavy metal illustrates how, as community standards are pushed closer and closer to the closed-door home, the police of the public sphere are apt not only to defend, but to subsidize material they like.

Attorney General Settlements as Corporate Shakedowns - Analysis
Forty-nine of 50 states participated in legal action against five mortgage banks resulting in a $25 billion settlement.  The public should wonder, first, what the banks gained from the settlement and, second, whether the whole process is wise to encourage.
School Budgets to Town/City Councils: Derailing Reform Still Suggests a Forward Motion - Analysis
A labor-friendly senator proposing reform-minded legislation indicates the need for the careful consideration of unintended consequences as Rhode Island shifts the way it does business.

Measuring the Inflation of Government - Analysis
Local political analyst Tom Sgouros asserts that government ought to be measured against income, rather than in line with other expenses, but it isn't as reasonable a premise as it may at first seem.
Ethics in an Everybody-Knows-Everbody State - Opinion
As a Ted Nesi article illustrates, the matter of legislator ethics is not a simple one.  Perhaps disclosure, not investigation, is the answer.
Taxing the Rich Raises Taxes on All - Analysis
Efforts to increase the top tax rate shouldn't be viewed in terms of the current tax system, but the system before the tax reform that is just kicking in.  In that case, it represents a massive increase on more than just "the rich."

In the Mood for Binding Arbitration? - Analysis
The insider take is that the General Assembly wants to avoid controversy, after pension reform, but last night's House Labor hearing gave the impression of a different kind of show.
Unemployment Unchanged... but at Least It's Not Bad News - Analysis
Unemployment held at 8.3% in February, indicating stagnation no matter how one slices the numbers.
RNC Co-Chair: Optimism, Work, and Tools, but No Money - Interview/profile
On a visit to Rhode Island, RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day promises local Republicans tools, access, and optimism, but not money.
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"Complete Streets Legislation Takes Build-It-and-They-Will-Bike Approach"

Unless I am mistaken, there is federal assistance available under the Intermodal Transportation Act, for streets including a bikeway. Where federal assistance is provided at the outset, I believe it is required.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 12, 2012 2:24 PM
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