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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I think Pizza Marvin has officially taken over the No. 1 spot for best pizza in Rhode Island. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 153,447 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, after adding 84 new cases. The overall daily test-positive rate was 1.4 percent. The state announced no new deaths, keeping the total at 2,739. There were 16 people in the hospital, and 652,487 residents were fully vaccinated. Check our dashboard for more data.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday that Democrat and Republican lawmakers are “very close” to reaching a deal on a $579 billion infrastructure package, an agreement that could be struck as soon as this week.
During an interview on “Face the Nation,” the former Rhode Island governor offered a local anecdote to highlight where she believes things stand with the high-stakes negotiations.
”I’ll tell you, when I was governor, if I ever worked on an issue where I had both the Chamber of Commerce and the local AFL-CIO saying they supported it and get it done, I knew it had to happen because it was the right thing to do,” Raimondo said. “And that’s what we have here.”
US Senator Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who has served as the lead Republican negotiator of a bipartisan group discussing the infrastructure deal, seemed to echo Raimondo’s comments during his appearance on “ABC This Week” on Sunday. He said the two sides are “90 percent there,” noting that an agreement over mass transit spending was the major outstanding issue to be resolved.
A poll released last week by the Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago found that 59 percent of Americans think that improving infrastructure should be a high priority for the federal government. More than 60 percent said infrastructure improvements should be paid for by raising taxes on corporations or households making more than $400,000 per year.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned that she won’t allow a vote on the infrastructure bill until she is confident that a broader multitrillion-dollar spending plan will be approved through budget reconciliation.
During her Sunday interview, Raimondo acknowledged that Pelosi’s position complicates negotiations, but she said that she is confident a deal will be reached.
”If there’s one person in Washington who knows how to get things done, it’s Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Raimondo said. “And she knows this is what the American people want. And so, I’m not going to pretend this is easy. It is complex, but we make progress every day and we feel optimistic.”
THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND
⚓ Actress Rose Weaver is leaving Rhode Island, but she reflects on five decades of the arts in the state. Read more.
⚓ The family that accused Providence police of excessive force in an incident a month ago says they’ve been the target of racist abuse, police indifference about their safety, and now arson. Read more.
⚓ The leaders of Rhode Island’s two predominant hospital systems say they are about two months away from completing their merger application. Read more.
⚓ Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea is questioning Governor Daniel J. McKee’s decision to let an executive order expire on Friday, forcing public bodies to start meeting in person again. Read more.
⚓ A Narragansett man captured aerial footage of the shark that sent swimmers out of the water last week. Read more.
⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Tony Eliasen and Brian Amaral, the co-founders of Newport, Rhode Island-based Ocean State Sensing, which focuses on sensing and mapping temperatures in the water to be able to observe and track events. E-mail Alexa Gagosz with suggestions for this weekly interview. Read more.
MORE ON BOSTONGLOBE.COM
⚓ Politics: My colleague Jim Puzzanghera explains why US Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia continues to be one of the most influential people in Washington, D.C. when it comes to President Joe Biden’s agenda. Read more.
⚓ Vaccine: The first million-dollar winner in Massachusetts’ COVID-19 vaccination giveaway will be selected today. Read more.
⚓ Health: Greater Boston, arguably the hub of the life sciences and medical universe, has a lot riding on what happens next with Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug. Read more.
⚓ Environment: Extreme weather events reliably traced to climate change are happening now with more frequency, more severity, and more damage to human life and property. And it’s going to get worse. Read more.
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.
⚓ Governor Dan McKee will sign legislation that allows cities and towns to continue outdoor dining (without zoning modifications) until April 1, 2022.
⚓ Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza will announce that he is creating a working group to study the city’s pension system during a noon press conference.
⚓ The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation meets at 5 p.m. Here’s the agenda.
⚓ The New Shoreham Town Council meets at 5 p.m. to consider an emergency ordinance “pertaining to increased COVID-19 related cases on Block Island and methods to maintain health and safety.”
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