Here’s what Cicilline wants to know from Zuckerberg. What happened in Senate Judiciary last night? More votes on education reform today.
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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Biggest Little. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m thankful the House of Representatives isn’t dropping the budget on the same night as Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Can Facebook be trusted?
That’s one of the main questions US Representative David Cicilline says he wants answered as part of a broader Congressional antitrust investigation he’s leading into the world’s technology giants.
The panel Cicilline oversees held its first hearing Tuesday, focusing largely on how the news industry has been disrupted – or decimated, in some cases – by companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.
But Cicilline appears especially focused on the damage he believes Mark Zuckerberg’s company has done. In an interview before the hearing, he told Rhode Map he wants to know if Facebook has an economic incentive to turn a blind eye to misconduct on its platform and whether it has any interest in policing itself.
“As part of the investigation, I plan to get to the bottom of whether Facebook has killed competition by weaponizing its platform against rivals,” Cicilline said. “I also want to know whether Facebook’s disregard for people’s privacy has enhanced its dominance.”
The inquiry is expected to last 18 months.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• Why are so many cars owned by Rhode Island residents registered to the same lot in Maine? The Globe’s Amanda Milkovits reports police are taking a look at this strange phenomenon.
• After facing all that pressure to vote on the abortion rights bill, the Senate Judiciary Committee ended up punting it over to the Health and Human Services Committee last night. The Globe’s Ed Fitzpatrick explains why it happened and what it means. A vote is now expected tomorrow.
• Abortion II: Senate President Dominick Ruggerio accused his Republican colleagues of pulling an “unprecedented last-minute political stunt to torpedo this bill” by choosing to vote as “ex-officio” members of the Judiciary Committee. It is worth noting that members of Democratic leadership also could have stepped in to vote, but many of them oppose the bill as well.
• If you live in Providence, you might have gotten a call this week from a pollster asking what you think of Governor Gina Raimondo, Mayor Jorge Elorza and various city bike policies. The poll isn’t costing the city anything, but it turns out the mayor’s office worked with a nonprofit bike advocacy group to formulate the questions.
• The Globe has all the details on Plant City, the new vegan food hall opening in Providence this week.
• It’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight between the Bruins and the Blues. The Globe’s Tara Sullivan says it’s a “reminder that sports are the greatest reality show of them all, so beautifully unpredictable and so unpredictably beautiful.”
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• The Senate Education Committee is set to take up more bills from the education reform package that is supported by General Assembly leadership today. Keep an eye on the proposal to expand the power of school principals.
• Over in Senate Labor, a proposal to increase Rhode Island’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in 2020 is up for a vote.
• Governor Gina Raimondo is set to speak at the fourth-grade graduation ceremony at the Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy this afternoon. Remember, Achievement First is one of the highest-performing charter schools in the state, but Providence leaders have balked at allowing it to expand as much as Raimondo wants.
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