RIPR News
4:49 am
Wed June 16, 2010

RI gubernatorial candidate proposes single legislative body

Providence, R.I. – Attorney General Patrick Lynch is proposing that Rhode Island get rid of its two legislative chambers and switch to a unicameral legislature- a plan that's not getting any support from key lawmakers.

The Democrat is running for governor and announced his plan last week during the first gubernatorial debate.

Lynch spokesman Joel Coon says the plan would have to be approved by voters and would eliminate the Senate and reconstitute the General Assembly as a single body. He says it would likely save at least $10 million but, more importantly, would increase accountability.

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed say they oppose the idea. Fox says a bicameral legislature offers checks and balances.

Coon says he doesn't know if other lawmakers support the idea.