- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Lawmakers take up a contentious elections issue, gubernatorial candidates offer a slew of policy proposals and professors call for outside oversight on aspects of a plan to arm campus police. Here are five things to know in Rhode Island:


Lawmakers will come back from a one-week break to a busy legislative committee schedule, including a number of bills that deal with elections set to be heard Tuesday by the House Judiciary committee. Among them is a proposal to eliminate straight-ticket voting, which gives voters the option to pick all candidates of one party with a single mark on the ballot. Supporters of the legislation say it’s undemocratic and confusing. The bill was held for further study following a Senate committee hearing this month.


Faculty union leaders at the University of Rhode Island want an outside agency to oversee the use of force by campus police, who are now allowed to be armed. The executive committee of the URI chapter of the American Association of University Professors voted this week to demand an outside group such as the attorney general adjudicate complaints about excessive use of force.


Several gubernatorial candidates unrolled policy proposals, including Democrat Clay Pell, who proposes an internship program for public high school students, beefed-up tourism marketing and a two-year trade mission to increase international opportunities for Rhode Island business. Democrats Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras released plans to deal with climate change. Taveras wants the state to get 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and Raimondo proposed a “green bank” to help municipalities finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Republican Allan Fung called for changes in how the state governs education, including a return to two education boards: one for higher education and one for primary and secondary education.


Former House Speaker Gordon Fox put his house up for sale amid a federal probe that prompted the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and state police to raid his home and Statehouse office. Fox’s 5-bedroom, 3½-bath Colonial on the East Side of Providence has a price tag of $615,000. He told The Providence Journal he was looking to downsize. Meanwhile, Fox received a 60-day extension from the state Ethics Commission to file his 2013 financial disclosure which requires officials to list their employers, real estate interests and other information.


The Massachusetts attorney general is suing a Lincoln-based charity to benefit military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, saying it uses deceptive fundraising tactics and illegally solicits donations there. Kimberly Silva, the chief executive of Veterans Community Foundation, acknowledged filing the wrong paperwork but denied wrongdoing.

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