Former Delegates Voice Opposition To RI Constitutional Convention

Oct 21, 2014

Former delegates to the 1986 Constitutional Convention are speaking out against the event Rhode Islanders will vote on November 4th. 

Tom Izzo served as a delegate during the 1986 Constitutional Convention, he now opposes the convention.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

1986 was the last time the state held a Constitutional Convention.  The state can hold one once every ten years, pending voter approval.  Delegates are elected to the convention which creates legislation then voted on by the public; bypassing the general assembly.  Critics say the delegates can be easily swayed by special interest groups, because they are not seeking reelection.  Tom Izzo was a delegate in 1986.

“Folks who ran as delegates had agendas that they wanted to bring forward.  All those other special interest groups will put candidates out there.  And where you have a very limited time to vet those candidates you don’t really know," said Izzo.

Izzo says those special interests can get divisive social issues, like abortion and immigrant rights back on the ballot.  Supporters says the convention is an important tool to pass legislation too often stalled in the General Assembly.

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