Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Let’s Amend the Constitution

Common Cause proposes allowing the people to decide whether to the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island in response to the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s recent decision in William V. Irons vs. The Rhode Island Ethics Commission. We are asking the General Assembly to put the following language (additions in bold) on the ballot in 2010:



Section 8. Ethics Commission – Code of Ethics – Jurisdiction. The general assembly shall establish an independent non-partisan ethics commission which shall adopt a code of ethics including, but not limited to, provisions on conflict of interest, confidential information, use of position, contracts with government agencies and financial disclosure. All elected and appointed officials of state and local government, of boards, commissions and agencies, shall be subject to the code of ethics and the jurisdiction of the ethics commission. The ethics commission shall have the jurisdiction and authority to investigate and adjudicate alleged violations of the code of ethics, including all acts otherwise protected by Article VI, Section 5, and to impose penalties, as provided by law; and the commission shall have the power to remove from office officials who are not subject to impeachment.



Section 5. Immunities of General Assembly members. The persons of all members of the general assembly shall be exempt from arrest and their estates from attachment in any civil action, during the session of the general assembly, and two days before the commencement and two days after the termination thereof, and all process served contrary hereto shall be void. For any speech in debate in either house, no member shall be questioned in any other place, except as set forth in Article III, section 8 of this Constitution.

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