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Rhode Island House sends ethics measure to Senate

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June 4, 2010

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: Rhode Islanders are one step closer from deciding this fall whether to change an ethics law that gives partial immunity to state lawmakers from the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. The measure was approved by the Rhode Island House of Representatives on June 2, 2010 with a vote of 67-5, sending the measure to the Rhode Island State Senate for a vote. If the Senate approves the bill, the measure will be sent to the November 2, 2010 general election ballot. If enacted by Rhode Island voters, the measure would amend Article III, Section 8 and Article VI, Section 5 of the Rhode Island Constitution.[1]

The bill was introduced by Representative Gordon Fox due to an alleged loophole in ethics laws. Fox stated that the voters of Rhode Island "approved the creation of the Ethics Commission to give the commission power over all government officials in the state, without an exception for legislators.” In June 2009, the Rhode Island Supreme Court decided that lawmakers should be removed from Ethics Commission jurisdiction.[2]

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