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Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio answer questions at Boston Globe event

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Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio spent an hour answering questions about legislative priorities, the budget, marijuana, affordable housing, the Democratic Women’s Caucus, the General Assembly as a boy’s club, using campaign money for childcare, RI Promise, pre-K, education, ghost guns, stricter penalties for gun law violators, funding the Nonviolence Institute, climate change, re-election, minimum wage, line-item veto, who they support for President, whether Trump should have been impeached, the Superman Building, high speed rail, DCYF, and patronage in state government.


Rhode Island Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, District 15, Cranston) and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (Democrat, District 4, Providence) spent about an hour last night answering questions from Boston Globe reporters Dan McGowan and Amanda Milkovits at the Rhode Map Live: The Priorities of Rhode Island’s Most Powerful Leaders event.

Below is all the video, broken down by questions asked.

To Ruggerio: What didn’t you hear in Governor Gina Raimondo‘s State of the State address that you would have like to?

To Mattiello: Do you agree with the Senate President that the State of the State contains a lot of new ideas but doesn’t outline the spending to go with it?

To Mattiello: A question about legalized marijuana:


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To Ruggerio: A question about legalized marijuana:

More from Mattiello on marijuana:

To Ruggerio: How big should Governor Raimondo’s suggested affordable housing bond be?

Mattiello on Governor Raimondo’s suggested affordable housing bond:

To Mattiello: Would you support a new tax to create a steady source of revenue for affordable housing?

President Ruggerio on a new tax to create a steady source of revenue for affordable housing:

Pushing Ruggerio on the proposed tax for affordable housing:

To Ruggerio: What do you know now that you didn’t know when you were elected to the Senate Presidency?

To Mattiello: What do you know now that you didn’t know when you were elected to the Speakership?

To Mattiello: A question about a rift in the Rhode Island Democratic Party with the formation of the Democratic Women’s Caucus:

To Mattiello: “So you don’t agree that there is such a thing as a boy’s club?”

To Mattiello: “Do you see yourself doing anything different this session to bring everyone more in?”

To Ruggerio: A question about a rift in the Rhode Island Democratic Party with the formation of the Democratic Women’s Caucus:

More from Mattiello on the “boy’s club”:

To Mattiello: A question about Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence)’s bill that would allow candidates to use campaign contributions for childcare:

To Ruggerio: A question about Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence)’s bill that would allow candidates to use campaign contributions for childcare:

To Mattiello: Do you support making the RI Promise program, which provides two years of state college free for qualifying students, permanent?

To Ruggerio: Do you support making the RI Promise program, which provides two years of state college free for qualifying students, permanent?

To Mattiello: Do you support expanding the existing pre-K program to more students?

To Ruggerio: Do you support expanding the existing pre-K program to more students?

To Mattiello: Is there one thing Rhode Island can do in education to make our state more competitive with Massachusetts?

To Ruggerio: Is there one thing Rhode Island can do in education to make our state more competitive with Massachusetts?

More from Mattiello on education:

To Mattiello: If we need to empower teachers, shouldn’t we also make them more accountable?

To Mattiello: A question on the ghost gun bill that passed the Senate and died in the House last year:

To Mattiello: You said you’re working with the NRA (National Rifle Association) folks: What is this bill going to look like?

To Mattiello: Will there be legislation to make the state’s gun registry compatible for all municipalities?

To Mattiello: Would you support stiffer penalties for gun laws, as opposed to more gun laws?

More from Mattiello about laws regarding the reporting of stolen guns:

To Ruggerio: Would you support stiffer penalties for gun laws, as opposed to more gun laws?

To Mattiello: The Nonviolence Institute reduces gun violence in Providence. Last year you cut, then restored a $200k grant to the Institute. Why?

To Ruggerio: A question about climate change.

To Mattiello: A question about climate change. For a full report, see: Speaker Mattiello says there’s nothing Rhode Island can do about climate

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Are you planning to run for re-election?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Do you support raising the minimum wage, and if so, to what?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Do you support a line item veto?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Who are you supporting for President?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Do you think President Trump should have been impeached?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: A question about the so-called Superman Building.

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: Do you support high-speed rail to Boston?

To Mattiello and Ruggerio: What are your plans for oversight of DCYF (Department of Children, Youth and Families)?

To Mattiello: No one would deny that patronage exists in state government. How will you ensure that qualified people are employed by the state?

To Ruggerio: No one would deny that patronage exists in state government. How will you ensure that qualified people are employed by the state?


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com