AS Daily News Roundup: Thursday, May 10, 2012

Table of Contents
Economy and Finance
WRNI: A liberal view on how Rhode Island should approach budgeting
ProJo: Recession could take another dip, report says
ProJo: E. Providence financial state slightly better, Moody’s says
ProJo: R.I. sees revenue gains from state income tax
Education
ProJo: School leaders, parents told what takeover means
ProJo: School board split on budget cuts
ProJo: Schools welcome out-of-towners who can pay the price
ProJo: Nero’s retirement comes at time when others doing likewise
Health and Wellness
ProJo: Two R.I. programs among first to win innovation awards
ProJo: Analysts predicting $62.5-million savings
Politics and Government
WRNI: U.S. Senator Reed endorses same-sex marriage
ProJo: Marijuana limits for dispensaries pass in Senate
ProJo: Bill targets smoking with child in car
ProJo: RIPTA financing gains supporters
Opinion
RI Future: Chafee and political principles, paying for public education, Gemma on marriage equality
ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: Gemma confident that he will be Doherty opponent
ProJo Editorial: Calling on the leaders

Economy and Finance

WRNI: A liberal view on how Rhode Island should approach budgeting
By Ted Nesi
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank in Washington that makes sweet charts, is out with a recent report advising states on how they should approach budgeting in this age of austerity.

ProJo: Recession could take another dip, report says (A4)
By Kate Bramson
Rhode Island’s economy expanded less than 1 percent in the first quarter of the year and is forecast to expand at an even smaller rate over the next two quarters, according to an economic report by Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

ProJo: E. Providence financial state slightly better, Moody’s says (A4)
By Bryan Rourke
East Providence’s financial situation is improving, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

ProJo: R.I. sees revenue gains from state income tax (A11)
By Philip Marcelo
PROVIDENCE — In its first official year under a new tax system, Rhode Island is seeing more revenue coming in from the personal income tax, even though it is on track to issue a greater number of refunds and for a greater total cost to the state than it did under the previous system.

Education

ProJo: School leaders, parents told what takeover means (A2)
By Jennifer D. Jordan
CENTRAL FALLS –– Nearly a month after Governor Chafee ordered a state takeover of the city’s beleaguered school system, school leaders and parents got a clearer picture this week of what that actually means. But the most urgent information they are seeking — firm budget numbers — remains elusive.

ProJo: School board split on budget cuts (A2)
By Andy Smith
NORTH KINGS-TOWN — A deadlocked School Committee failed to act Tuesday night on cuts required to bring the budget into compliance with the $57.2 million appropriated by the Town Council on May 1.

ProJo: Schools welcome out-of-towners who can pay the price (A3)
By Linda Borg
BARRINGTON — Now you can buy a Barrington education. Starting this fall, the school district will accept 10 students from out of town. The tuition will cost $12,800, which is less than independent schools such as St. Mary Academy Bay View, at $13,500, The Lincoln School, at $28,000, and Moses Brown, at $28,385, but more than St. Raphael Academy, which charges $10,400.

ProJo: Nero’s retirement comes at time when others doing likewise (A7)
By Lynn Arditi
CRANSTON — School Supt. Peter L. Nero’s announcement that he is retiring from the district to seek a new post as superintendent of schools in North Stonington, Conn., comes as the number of retirements from the Cranston school district has grown.

Health and Wellness

ProJo: Two R.I. programs among first to win innovation awards (A6)
By Felice J. Freyer
Two Rhode Island programs — one for families with premature babies and one for children with asthma — are among 26 projects around the country selected for the first batch of federal Health Care Innovation awards.

ProJo: Analysts predicting $62.5-million savings (A8)
By Randal Edgar
PROVIDENCE — State budget analysts are predicting a $62.5-million savings in Medicaid and cash-assistance programs for the fiscal year ending June 30, and that next year’s costs will also be lower than previously thought, by about $69 million.

Politics and Government

WRNI: U.S. Senator Reed endorses same-sex marriage
By Elisabeth Harrison
U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he stands with President Barack Obama in support of same-sex marriage. Reed voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which blocked federal recognition of same-sex marriage. More recently, he has been considering whether he would support a repeal of the law. Now Rhode Island’s senior senator says he believes all committed couples deserve equal protection.

ProJo: Marijuana limits for dispensaries pass in Senate (A1)
By W. Zachary Malinowski
PROVIDENCE — The possibility of three medical marijuana dispensaries opening in Rhode Island inched one step closer to reality on Wednesday night as the Senate approved legislation designed to appease federal authorities and allow dispensary operators to sell the drug to patients in the state-licensed program without fear of prosecution.

ProJo: Bill targets smoking with child in car (A1)
By Randal Edgar
PROVIDENCE — The state has already banned smoking in the workplace, in restaurants and bars, in sports arenas and “all enclosed public places” — all in the name of promoting good health.

ProJo: RIPTA financing gains supporters (A8)
By Bruce Landis
PROVIDENCE — Supporters of legislation to increase financing for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority turned out in force Wednesday, urging the House Finance Committee to back a bill that would change the way buses are paid for.

Opinion

RI Future: Chafee and political principles, paying for public education, Gemma on marriage equality
By Bob Plain
In a surprising move that really shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows him, Gov Chafee has decided to take the Jason Pleau case all the way to the US Supreme Court, if they will hear it. While talk radio, and even the Pleau family, may not agree with this decision, taking a case to the SCOTUS is not about either politics or individuals – it’s about interpreting the law, and in this case the relationship between states and the federal government. 

ProJo: Ed Fitzpatrick: Gemma confident that he will be Doherty opponent (A4)
By Edward Fitzpatrick
In the pantheon of great Democrats, you’ve got FDR, JFK … and APG? Truth be told, Anthony P. Gemma’s monogram might never reach that exalted status. But the Lincoln businessman was clearly trying to place himself in the company of Democratic giants when he announced another run for the 1st Congressional District seat held by DNC (Democratic Rep. David N. Cicilline).

ProJo Editorial: Calling on the leaders (B6)
We assume that Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox is under great pressure from public-employee unions not to support a legislative package from Governor Chafee to give municipal leaders more tools to stabilize their communities’ fiscal houses and avoid devastating property-tax hikes.
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