At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.
Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.
Sen. Jack Reed is calling on Congress to address the systemic challenges plaguing the VA healthcare system.
Reed made the statement just hours after Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid a growing cover up of long wait times for healthcare. Reed said the next secretary needs to start the job with a top to bottom review of what’s causing the backlog.
Rhode Island has received more than $2.7 million to clean up contaminated properties in Pawtucket, Providence, and Westerly.
Senator Jack Reed says these federal grants awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program will help local governments protect public health and redevelop former industrial sites for better use. Reed says it’ll also benefit the economy by creating jobs and increasing the value of surrounding properties.