Cale Keable

State Rep. Cale Keable (D-Burrillville) joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss government ethics, the power plant proposed in Burrillville, judicial selection, and other topics.

State Rep. Cale Keable (D-Burrillville), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the debate over truck tolls, 38 Studios, and legalizing marijuana.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

All this week, Rhode Island Public Radio is focusing on Burrillville, a small community in the northwest corner of the state. Burrillville’s most influential media source is a weekly, printed publication that most people have never heard of. It began publishing in 1970 and is called the Bargain Buyer.

At Monty’s Victory Diner in Burrillville, it’s easy to find local residents like Robert Wolstenholme who swear by the Bargain Buyer.

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.

Nick Mattiello has only been House Speaker for two days. So it may not be fair to criticize his committee and leadership choices; he had to throw together his team very quickly.

But it hasn’t escaped notice that Mattiello’s new team has given women lawmakers short shrift.

The new speaker has named three committee chairs: Ray Gallison, D-Bristol, takes over the House Finance Committee; Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, assumes control of the Judiciary Committee; and Robert Craven, D-North Kingstown becomes the new chairman of the Municipal Affairs Committee.

UPDATE: Skenyon began working in Mattiello's office today, according to House spokesman Larry Berman.

With rumors dancing through the Statehouse corridors of power, new House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston has yet to reveal his leadership team. Which isn’t unusual, considering he wasn’t formally elected speaker until about an hour ago.