Difference between revisions of "Rhode Island House of Representatives"
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Revision as of 14:06, 2 July 2013
|Rhode Island House of Representatives|
|2014 session start:||January 1, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Gordon Fox, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Nicholas Mattiello, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Brian Newberry, (R)|
| Democratic Party (
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Article VI, Rhode Island Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (75 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (75 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Legislature redraws boundaries|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Redistricting
- 4 Representatives
- 5 Standing committees
- 6 History
- 7 External links
- 8 References
As of April 2014, Rhode Island is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article VI of the Rhode Island Constitution establishes when the Rhode Island General Assembly, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 3 of Article states that the General Assembly is to convene its regular session on the first Tuesday of January in each year.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 1 through late June.
In 2013, legislators will address a budget deficit estimated at $69 million, legalization of same-sex marriage, gun control, and economic development.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 3 through June 13.
The legislature had to address a $120 million budget deficit. Legislators wanted to cut spending to close the gap while Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) pushed for a tax raise. Major issues also included reducing municipal pension costs and reducing regulations to spur economic growth.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from January 4 - July 1. The legislature is in recess until October, when a special session is planned to tackle the cost of public-employee pensions. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Rhode Island was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Rhode Island House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 30||Antonio Giarrusso||1%||7,473||Mark Schwager|
|District 72||Linda Dill Finn||1.4%||7,106||Daniel Reilly|
|District 26||Patricia Morgan||4.5%||5,467||Nicholas Denice|
|District 31||Doreen Costa||5.9%||7,268||Steven Campo|
|District 46||Jeremiah O'Grady||6.1%||7,113||Matthew Guerra|
|District 39||Larry Valencia||7.1%||6,238||Clay P. Johnson|
|District 32||Robert Craven Sr.||8.3%||7,532||Laurence Ehrhardt|
|District 47||Cale Keable||8.7%||5,894||Donald Fox|
|District 35||Spencer Dickinson||8.7%||4,559||James Haldeman|
|District 67||Jan Malik||10.2%||6,599||Peter Costa Jr.|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 28, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $2,454,588 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Rhode Island House of Representatives|
|Schadone, Gregory J||$54,200|
|Rhode Island Education Association||$29,375|
|Mitchell, Kevin J||$23,733|
|Corvese, Arthur J||$22,600|
|Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers||$17,200|
|Cranston Fire Fighters Local 1363||$15,850|
|Rhode Island Laborers||$15,625|
|Operating Engineers Local 57||$14,700|
|Rhode Island Laborers Public Employees||$14,175|
|Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters||$12,575|
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. The Secretary of State must call for an election to be held anywhere from 70 to 90 days after the vacancy occurred. No election can be held if the vacancy happens after the first Monday in February during an election year. The person elected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.
- See also: Redistricting in Rhode Island
The General Assembly is responsible for legislative redistricting, with the Governor holding veto power. In June 2011, the Assembly passed a law establishing a redistricting commission of 18 members -- 12 legislators and six members of the general public -- that would make recommendations to the Assembly, who would then pass new maps as regular legislation.
Rhode Island received its census data on March 23, 2011. The state had a very low growth rate of 0.4 percent; the five counties ranged from -3.0 to 2.8 percent. As far as the most populous cities, Providence grew by 2.5 percent, Warwick decreased by 3.7 percent, Cranston grew by 1.4 percent, Pawtucket decreased by 2.5 percent, and East Providence decreased by 3.4 percent.
On February 1, 2012, the Senate and House passed a proposal that the commission had released and approved in December 2011. Republican were upset over what they saw as gerrymandering in House District 47 working to the benefit of incumbent Cale Keable (D). Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed the maps into law on February 8, 2012. A Republican lawsuit followed on March 8.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Rhode Island Legislature are paid $14,185.95/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive no per diem.
Rhode Island does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1994.
When sworn in
Rhode Island legislators assume office the first Tuesday in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of April 2014|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.
|Current Leadership, Rhode Island House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Gordon Fox||Democratic|
|State House Majority Leader||Nicholas Mattiello||Democratic|
|State House Minority Leader||Brian Newberry||Republican|
The Rhode Island House has 11 standing committees:
- Corporations Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Finance Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Health, Education and Welfare Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Judiciary Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Labor Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Municipal Government Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Oversight Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Rules Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Small Business Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Veterans' Affairs Committee, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Partisan balance 1992-2013
During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Rhode Island State House of Representatives. The Rhode Island House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
- Rhode Island House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Coventry Patch, "This week at the General assembly," January 6, 2013
- Boston.com, "Issues to watch in 2012 RI session," January 2, 2012
- Projo.com, R.I. lawmakers pass flurry of bills, recess until October, July 1, 2011
- 2010 session dates for the Rhode Island Legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Rhode Island Board of Elections "Upcoming Elections"
- Follow the Money: "Rhode Island House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Rhode Island Legislature "Rhode Island General Laws"(Referenced Statute 17-3-6 (a))
- Rhode Island Legislature "Rhode Island General Laws"(Referenced Statute 17-3-6 (b))
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Rhode Island's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- Rhode Island House Leadership
State of Rhode Island
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | General Treasurer | Auditor General | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Environmental Management | Director of Labor | Chair of Public Utilities |