Difference between revisions of "Rhode Island House of Representatives"

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Revision as of 19:32, 11 July 2013

Rhode Island House of Representatives

Seal of Rhode Island.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 1, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Gordon Fox, (D)
Majority Leader:   Nicholas Mattiello, (D)
Minority Leader:   Brian Newberry, (R)
Members:  75
   Democratic Party (62)
Republican Party (11)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Article VI, Rhode Island Constitution
Salary:   $14,185.95/year
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (75 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (75 seats)
Redistricting:  Legislature redraws boundaries
The Rhode Island House of Representatives is the lower house of the Rhode Island State Legislature. 75 members make-up the lower chamber of the Rhode Island General Assembly and meets at the State Capitol in Providence. Each member represents an average of 14,034 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 13,978 residents.[2] The House meets on the first Thursday in January.

As of March 2015, Rhode Island is one of 7 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 was in session from January 1 through July 5.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included a budget deficit estimated at $69 million, legalization of same-sex marriage, gun control, and economic development.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session from January 3 through June 13.

Major issues

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.[4]


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. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in session from January 5 to June 11.[6]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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 was 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.[7]



See also: Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Rhode Island House of Representatives will be held in Rhode Island on November 6, 2012. All 75 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 27, 2012. The primary election day will be September 11, 2012.[8]

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Rhode Island's House of Representatives were held in Rhode Island on November 2, 2010.

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: [9]


Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution describes the requirements to hold office.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

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[10]. The person elected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term[11].


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.

2010 census

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.[12]

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.[13]


Rhode Island does not provide pensions for legislators who took office after 1994.[14]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Rhode Island legislators assume office the first Tuesday in January.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 62
     Republican Party 11
     Independent 1
     Vacancy 1
Total 75

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Rhode Island State House.PNG


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.[15]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Rhode Island House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Gordon Fox Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Leader Brian Newberry Ends.png Republican

Current members

Current members, Rhode Island House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Edith Ajello Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
2 Christopher Blazejewski Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
3 Thomas Palangio Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Gordon Fox Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
5 John DeSimone Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
6 Raymond Hull Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
7 Maria Cimini Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
8 John Lombardi Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
9 Anastasia Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
10 Scott Slater Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
11 Grace Diaz Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
12 Joseph Almeida Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
13 John Carnevale Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
14 Charlene Lima Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
15 Nicholas Mattiello Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
16 Peter Palumbo Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
17 Robert Jacquard Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
18 Arthur Handy Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
19 Joseph McNamara Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
20 David Bennett Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
21 Eileen Naughton Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
22 Frank Ferri Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
23 K. Joseph Shekarchi Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
24 Joseph Trillo Ends.png Republican 2001
25 Jared Nunes Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
26 Patricia Morgan Ends.png Republican 2011
27 Patricia Serpa Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
28 Scott Guthrie Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
29 Lisa Tomasso Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
30 Antonio Giarrusso Ends.png Republican 2013
31 Doreen Costa Ends.png Republican 2011
32 Robert Craven Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
33 Donald Lally, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
34 Teresa Tanzi Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
35 Spencer Dickinson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
36 Donna Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
37 Samuel Azzinaro Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
38 Brian Kennedy Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
39 Larry Valencia Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
40 Michael Chippendale Ends.png Republican 2011
41 Michael Marcello Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
42 Stephen Ucci Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
43 Deborah Fellela Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
44 Gregory Costantino Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
45 Mia Ackerman Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
46 Jeremiah O'Grady Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
47 Cale Keable Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
48 Brian Newberry Ends.png Republican 2009
49 Lisa Baldelli-Hunt Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
50 Stephen Casey Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
51 Robert Phillips Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
52 Karen Macbeth Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
53 Thomas Winfield Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
54 William O'Brien Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
55 Arthur Corvese Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
56 Agostinho Silva Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
57 James McLaughlin Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
58 William San Bento, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
59 J. Patrick O'Neill Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
60 Elaine Coderre Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
61 Raymond Johnston Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
62 Mary Messier Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
63 Katherine Kazarian Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
64 Helio Melo Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
65 Gregg Amore Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
66 Joy Hearn Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
67 Jan Malik Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
68 Kenneth Marshall Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
69 Raymond Gallison, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
70 John Edwards Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
71 Dennis Canario Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
72 Linda Dill Finn Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
73 Marvin Abney Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
74 Deborah Ruggiero Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
75 Peter Martin Electiondot.png Democratic 2009

Standing committees

The Rhode Island House has 11 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Rhode Island’’
Partisan breakdown of the Rhode Island legislature from 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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Rhode Island state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links