RI governor signs changes to receivership law

Providence, R.I. – Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri has signed legislation that would prohibit the state's cities and towns from entering judicial receivership.

The bill was prompted by Central Falls' decision last month to go into receivership. A judge appointed an outside lawyer, Jonathan Savage, to act as temporary receiver for the financially troubled city and gave him oversight of its finances.

Carcieri spokeswoman Amy Kempe said the governor signed over the weekend a bill prohibiting communities from being placed into state receivership. The bill instead creates three levels of state oversight and allows the state to appoint a fiscal overseer.

The bill is applied retroactively to Central Falls.

Joseph Larisa, a lawyer who argued for Central Falls to be placed into receivership, said he believes the retroactive provision is unconstitutional. He will argue that at a Thursday hearing.