Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let’s All Obey the Rules

By: John Marion

On Wednesday, October 28th, the Rhode Island House and Senate are scheduled to return from recess. Common Cause Rhode Island asks that upon their return both chambers reinstate their rules.

In the closing days of the General Assembly session in June both the House and Senate suspended significant portions of their rules. These allowed them to meet late into the night (and in one case the next morning) and hold hearings without advance notice. Without the rules in place, members can even be asked to vote on bills that they haven’t seen in advance.

On October 19th Common Cause sent letters to the leadership in the House and Senate (click here to read the House letter and here to read the Senate letter) asking them to reinstate the rules upon their return. We followed that with letters to all members of both chambers.

We believe government should be open and accountable. The General Assembly faces no statutory deadline for finishing their work. We feel the people deserve a legislative process that is open and deliberative.

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