State Government

Toll Verdict – RI Highway Spending Sixth Highest BEFORE Truck Tolls

By Monique Chartier | September 21, 2022 |

“Permanently enjoined” – in a methodical, 90+ page ruling, federal district court Judge William Smith has turned thumbs down on Rhode Island’s truck-only tolls, noting that they are discriminatory, that they do not “fairly approximate use of the facilities” and that they violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Click here for an…

Gustave Courbet's The Stormy Sea (The Wave)

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Storm of Bias

By Justin Katz | August 23, 2021 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the ways in which the movers and shakers in RI avoid things everybody knows.

A medical mask on the sidewalk

The governor keeps the pandemic going.

By Justin Katz | July 8, 2021 |

As Ian Donnis tweeted earlier, I was in Providence this afternoon at the Public’s Radio studio for an all-too-brief conversation with National Education Association of Rhode Island director Bob Walsh about the obstacles to improvement of Rhode Island’s education system. Arriving a bit early, I walked around the area, and it struck me that the…

RI’s $13 billion budget shows government always makes out.

By Justin Katz | June 24, 2021 |

While Rhode Islanders are still trying to get their heads around the fact that their state government’s budget is poised to cross the $13 billion mark in the year beginning July 1 when it was under $10 billion as recently as 2019.  How does a global pandemic and economic collapse wind up with the government…

Hundred dollar bills

How many variations of Frank Montanaro exist in and around state government?

By Justin Katz | May 19, 2021 |

Katherine Gregg reports for the Providence Journal the labor-union scion’s latest play to get everything he can out of Rhode Island taxpayers.  Putting things chronologically might help to make it clear: Montanaro was elected to the General Assembly in 1986, at the age of 24 or 25.  Under the rules existing at the time, he could…

Another State Route to Riches: Institutional Attendants Earning Six Figures

By Justin Katz | April 4, 2013 |

The job listings for “institutional attendants (psychiatric)” positions in the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH) offer a salary in the mid-$30,000s, and payroll information available through the RIOpenGov project of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity suggests top regular pay in the low-$40,000s. In 2010 and 2011, however, almost…

Government Employee Overtime About Equal to a 38 Studios Every Year

By Justin Katz | March 28, 2013 |

The State of Rhode Island spent $89.6 million on employee overtime in 2011, according to payroll data acquired by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. The free-market think tank will make the individual payroll data for fiscal years 2011 and 2010 available next week through an interactive transparency Web site. The average overtime payments…

Laundering and Medicaid: State Operations Have Incentive to Be Inefficient

By Justin Katz | March 27, 2013 |

From the time she took a job with the State of Rhode Island in 1979 to 2011, Judith Andrade had worked her way up to regular pay of $37,091 as a laundry worker at Eleanor Slater Hospital. According to payroll data collected by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity she actually took home $76,320…

Government Nurses Joining Quarter-Million-Dollar Club

By Justin Katz | March 26, 2013 |

The Ocean State Current has an article up by Suzanne Bates (freelancing from Connecticut’s Yankee Institute) detailing the sky-high overtime that some staff at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital take home. These numbers come to light every now and then — usually with just a glimpse because a nurse or two makes the top however-many…

Gary Alexander’s Long Commute and Rhode Island’s Big Compensation

By Justin Katz | December 14, 2012 |

Rhode Island resident and former human services chief Gary Alexander has been making news back home related to his current job as Secretary of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania. About two weeks ago, Alexander’s work came up on the Current and Anchor Rising regarding a chart suggesting that a single-mother in the PA public welfare system…