Rhode Island

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The state legislature is the Rhode Island General Assembly, consisting of the 75-member state House of Representatives and the 38-member Senate. Both houses of the bicameral body are currently dominated by the Democratic Party.

Federally, Rhode Island is one of the most reliably Democratic states during presidential elections, regularly giving the Democratic nominees one of their best showings. In 1980, Rhode Island was one of only 6 states to vote against Ronald Reagan. In the 1984 Reagan landslide, Rhode Island provided Walter Mondale with his 3rd best performance. Rhode Island was the Democrats' best state in 1988 and 2000 and 2nd best in 1996 and 2004. The state was devoted to Republicans until 1908, but has only strayed from the Democrats 7 times in the 24 elections that followed. In 2004, Rhode Island gave John Kerry a greater than 20 percentage point margin of victory (the third highest of any state) with 59.4% of its vote. All but two of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns voted for the Democratic candidate. The only exceptions were East and West Greenwich. Rhode Island has abolished capital punishment, making it one of the 12 states that have done so. Rhode Island abolished the death penalty very early, just after Michigan (first state to abolish it), and carried out its last execution in 1840s.

Issues and Local Organizations

  • None yet

Initiative, Referendum and Recall


  • Initiative and Referendum Law
    • Currently there is no initiative or referendum available in Rhode Island. An alternative is Legislative referendum which is possible in all states ([here for list]), is when the state legislatures, an elected official, state appointed constitutional revision commission or other government agency or department submits propositions (constitutional amendments, statutes, bond issues, etc.) to the people for their approval or rejection. Every state requires that constitutional amendments proposed by the legislature be submitted to the citizenry via legislative referendum for approval or rejection. Legislative amendments (LA) are possible in Rhode Island, and are constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature or governmental body. This includes constitutional bond issues and amendments proposed by a constitutional revision commission.
  • History of I & R
  • Finance Laws
  • Disclosure Project




Government and City Links

Key Government Officials

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia 6/26/07