Monday, November 7, 2011

Private caucuses no substitute for public deliberation

The Democratic members of the Senate caucused last weed at a private restaurant to discuss the pension reform bill being considered during the special legislative session. Setting aside for a minute the fact that campaign money was probably used to pay for meals, instead of actual campaigning, this type of secret deliberation is troubling. And with the House Democrats poised to caucus today (Monday, November 7th) the question needs to be ask, is this a transparent process?

Common Cause has consistently been asking for public release of any amendments to Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011. General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has said that there will be 37 proposed changes coming from her office, including one that is a result of a serious error. The General Assembly leadership has been silent on the question of whether the amendments will be released publicly. Our elected leaders will be voting soon on amendments that the public has no chance to see in advance, and that may only have been discussed at private party caucuses.

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