The Scoop - RI Will No Longer Do Business with Iran
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Earlier today, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Rep. Mia A. Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) joined Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee for a ceremonial bill signing of the Iran divestment legislation, which allows the state to divest from all companies conducting business with Iran.
“This is a global bill with big implications,” Ackerman told GoLocal. “I was proud to join with Attorney General Kilmartin, Senator Miller and my colleagues in the House who passed this bill unanimously. Rhode Island now joins many other states in taking a stand against terrorism. It is imperative that as legislators, we not only keep a close eye on state business, but international issues that could affect us in the future as well. With Iran’s nuclear intents a very real threat to our entire nation, it’s important that we stand together in placing political pressure where necessary. We must all strive for peace.”
The new law requires the state Retirement Board to identify all companies in which the public fund has direct or indirect holdings in companies with business operations in Iran within 90 days of the effective date. The State Investment Commission would then send written notice of possible divestment to companies found with direct holdings. Each of those companies then has 90 days to cease scrutinized operations or convert them to inactive operations, otherwise leaving the public fund to divest according to a statutory schedule.
Rhode Island is one of 29 states to enact similar legislation and policies.
Susan Farmer, the first woman elected to statewide office in Rhode Island died on Sunday following a long battle with cancer at the age of 71.
Farmer, a Republican, served two terms as Secretary of State, from 1982 through 1986. She then ran for lieutenant governor in 1986, narrowly losing to sitting Democrat Richard Licht.
Farmer went on to serve as President of Rhode Island PBS until her retirement in 2004, and as a member of the Rhode Island Board of Elections until her death.
Current Secretary of State Ralph Mollis—who worked with Farmer on the Board of Elections—commented on her passing calling Farmer a “political trailblazer” who “forged a path for Rhode Island women for generations to come.”
Aside from Mollis, countless other local lawmakers fondly remembered Farmer on Monday, after learning of her passing.
Senator Jack Reed:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Susan Farmer, who was a political pioneer, a dedicated public servant, and a successful CEO. She gave her time and leadership to so many non-profits and community organizations throughout Rhode Island and was a real inspiration to so many. She will be deeply missed, but not forgotten.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:
“Susan Farmer was a courageous and kind person. As the first woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island, as an indomitable cancer patient, as the successful head of our public television station, she set a shining example for all of us in public service, and she did so with great generosity of spirit. She prevailed in tough environments without losing her poise or decency, and she will be missed.”
Congressman David Cicilline:
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Susan Farmer, a former Secretary of State for Rhode Island who was first elected in 1982. She was a distinguished public servant and a real trailblazer as the first woman elected to statewide office in Rhode Island. After serving two terms in office, Susan spent nearly two decades continuing her lifelong devotion to public service as the CEO and general manager for Rhode Island Public Television. My thoughts and prayers go out to Susan’s husband, Mac, and their entire family during this difficult time.”
Congressman Jim Langevin:
“I was deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Susan Farmer, a true public servant and an individual who inspired so many to become active in government. Her work as Secretary of State and her example of leadership served as a model for me when I assumed the office several years later. As the first woman in Rhode Island to hold statewide office, Susie was a trailblazer. She was generous of her time and expertise, lending both to anyone who sought public office as a means to improving our state. She paved the way for current and future political leaders and for female leaders in particular. Her contributions to Rhode Island, to politics and to the electoral process will not be forgotten.”
House Speaker Gordon Fox:
“Susie Farmer was a wonderful person who was a trailblazer for women in elected statewide office. I always admired her tremendous leadership at Channel 36 and her commitment to community service. She exuded charm, grace, positive energy and a joy for life, even in the face of her long struggle with cancer. My condolences to her husband Mac, who is a long-time friend and constituent, and the entire Farmer family.”
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed:
“As the first woman elected to statewide office as Secretary of State, Susan Farmer helped to open the door for many women who followed. She always sought ways to give back to Rhode Island, in elected office, as head of Rhode Island PBS, and as a private citizen engaged in civic life. The thoughts and prayers of the Senate are with Malcolm and the entire Farmer family in this difficult time.”
Governor Lincoln Chafee’s Workforce Board has launched the first phase of its new RI Work Immersion Program, designed to provide subsidized work experiences for Rhode Island-based college students and unemployed adults. Proposed Chafee and approved by the General Assembly, the $500,000 program is the first time in recent memory that Rhode Island General Revenue funds have been allocated for workforce development programming. The program expects to subsidize more than 250 work experiences in Fiscal Year 2014.
"I believe strongly that the financing of the work immersion program is a valuable investment in our economy. This venture is the first of its kind using State funds to help Rhode Islanders obtain work experience." Chafee said. "By creating new opportunities for meaningful work experience, we are building both the skills and the résumés of the current and future workforce."
The first phase of the Work Immersion Program will support the expansion of paid internships for college students by providing a 50-percent wage subsidy to participating businesses. To be eligible, internships must either provide college credit or receive an endorsement from the intern's higher education institution. Work experiences must pay between $7.75 and $20 per hour, and can range in duration from 45 to 200 hours. Bonus funding will be available to businesses that permanently hire the intern upon completion of the internship.
The second phase of the Work Immersion Program will provide a 50-percent wage subsidy to employers that provide a 200-hour paid work experience to unemployed adults. Participants must be referred by either a public or private sector program serving unemployed Rhode Islanders. As with college students, employers that permanently hire the unemployed adult at the completion of the work immersion will receive bonus funding. This second phase of the program is expected to launch in late fall.
Earlier today, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation announced $949,593 in federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grants for towns across the state to combat substance abuse, particularly among RI youths.
The grants, which are administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug-Free Communities Support Program, have been awarded to communities and organizations in Providence, Barrington, Tiverton, Middletown, Woonsocket, Westerly, and North Kingstown. They include a $124,998 grant for Barrington’s BAY Team and a $75,000 mentoring grant for the Providence Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council.
The federal funds will help communities combat youth drug abuse by supporting increased enforcement efforts and additional educational programs on substance abuse prevention. The Providence Mayor’s Substance Abuse Council will use its mentoring grant to provide guidance to the Central Falls Prevention Coalition, and help develop a comprehensive plan for youth substance abuse prevention in Central Falls. Barrington's BAY Team grant will be used to facilitate community involvement and fund various prevention programs, such as a community designated driver program, a marketing campaign to encourage parental involvement, and educational programs.
“These grants will help prevent substance abuse and make our communities safer. By partnering with families, schools, non-profits, law enforcement, and businesses, these Drug-Free Communities grants will help educate our children about the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol abuse,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.
The DFC Support Program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 in order to mobilize communities to combat youth drug abuse. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) lead the DFC program.
The following Rhode Island communities and organizations received DFC awards this year:
- Providence; Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council; $75,000 (Mentoring Grant)
- Providence; Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council; $125,000
- Tiverton; Tiverton Prevention Coalition; $125,000
- Middletown; Town of Middletown; $125,000
- Woonsocket; Woonsocket Task Force on Substance Abuse; 125,000
- Barrington; The BAY Team; $124,998
- Westerly; Chariho Tri-Town Task Force; $124, 595
- North Kingstown; Working Together for Wellness; 125,000
In light of the fact that incumbent U.S. Congressman David Cicilline has over $182,000 cash on hand for his 2014 reelection bid, GoLocal caught up with his opponent Cumberland native and Independent candidate Jonathan Maciel earlier today to discuss how his fundraising is going thus far.
"Fundraising is slow right now, I don't expect it to pick up steam for sometime,” Maciel told GoLocal. “Even then, I don't expect more than small contributions at a time. The most expensive part of campaigning are things like TV commercials and billboards, which right now I don't intend on even doing. The most difficult part is time management—balancing work, family, social, and campaigning can be difficult but so far I'm doing well with it. It's all about getting your face out there, giving people your ears, and giving them potential solutions to our problems that aren't being discussed by the mainstream media.”
As far as public appearances, Maciel told GoLocal that he’s attended about half a dozen events so far and has been warmly received. This weekend, Maciel will appear at the RI Rally 4 Recovery Event at Roger Williams Memorial Park. He’ll also be appearing on WARL 1320 AM’s radio show The Coalition on Sunday evening.
Maciel, who has never sought political office, currently works as a Global Test Lab Engineer for the MMC Global Technology Infrastructure.
As of June 30, Cicilline has raised $391,632 for his reelection campaign. The bulk of the Congressman’s total comes from large individual contributions (70%) and PAC donations (27%). Cicilline currently has $182,118 cash on hand.
Source of data: OpenSecrets.org.
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