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Move to restore Ethics Commission oversight of General Assembly looks dead for 2012

June 11, 2012

Efforts to give voters the option of restoring oversight of the General Assembly by the state Ethics Commission are going nowhere fast in the close of the legislative session.

As RIPR reported earlier this session, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said she supported bolstering  the commission’sconflict of interest oversight of lawmakers — but not at the cost of weakening speech-in-debate protection for lawmakers.

Reform groups like Common Cause of RI say voters should have the choice through a ballot question of whether to restore Ethics’ oversight of the legislature. The commission’s ability to police legislative behavior was effectively ended by a court challenge by former Senate president William Irons.

The issue hasn’t moved past this fundamental conflict between the two sides, so it appears voters won’t have the chance to weigh in on strengthening the Ethics Commission until 2014 at the earliest.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. M. Charles Bakst permalink
    June 11, 2012 7:56 pm

    Exactly how long do you think it would take lawmakers to agree on acceptable language to resolve this problem if they really wanted to do it and really worked at it? My guess: Half an hour.
    M. Charles Bakst, RIPR listener, Providence

  2. June 11, 2012 7:57 pm

    Right u are MCB

  3. Robert Boisclair permalink
    June 12, 2012 3:30 am

    OK, here is my problem. I can’t believe that Rhode Islanders are so stupid. Do you have a food allergie and when you go to a restaurant and order, don’t you check with the waiter/waitress if the food you have ordered has something in it that you are allergic to? BUT NO, the state will now spend their time passing a bill that restaurants will be responsible to train “allergy specialists” and “allergy response teams” fpr those that are to stupid to check to see if they are eating they are allergic to. OK sounds nice but what is the cost to the restaurants (increases the price of a meal) and how much will it cost the state to oversee this new policy. The restaurants will raise their prices and the state will add more taxes on things like taxi fares, food, sodas ect ect ect. Would it not be more constructive of the legislature and the blacksmith in the governors office to spend the time to find ways to meet the budget and get rid of unneccesary spending than pas laws like this? The legislature spends so much time on bovine excrement, they cant address the real problems that face the state.


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