Rhode Island measure up for vote in House

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May 28, 2010

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: A proposed ethics law measure will be placed in front of the Rhode Island House of Representatives for a vote, after the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure on May 26, 2010. If the measure is approved by the House, the measure will then move to the Rhode Island State Senate for a vote. Section 1 of Article 14 of the Rhode Island Constitution says that the Rhode Island General Assembly can initiate the process of amendment "by a roll call vote of a majority of the members elected to each house."[1]

The measure would ask voters if there should be a change in ethics law that gives partial immunity to state lawmakers from the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. The bill was introduced by Representative Gordon Fox due to an alleged loophole in the 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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