Two bills meant to discourage the misuse of campaign accounts have cleared an initial hurdle at the General Assembly. Efforts to restore the state Ethics Commission’s oversight of the legislature continue to languish.
Legislative committees have passed a bill requiring candidates to have a separate bank account for their campaign money. Another bill would make public officeholders file an annual bank statement to back up the information in their campaign spending reports.
Channel 12 reports the Providence Board of Licenses believes there’s not enough concrete evidence to revoke a liquor license for a bar that’s been implicated in a corruption probe. But Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he’s still looking into the matter.
H. Philip West Jr. served as the executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island for almost 20 years before stepping down in 2006. His tenure coincided with corruption in Governor Edward DiPrete’s administration, the state banking crisis, and high-profile battles over the Ethics Commission. West has turned his two decades observing Ocean State politics into a 684-page book called “Secrets and Scandals.” Rhode Island Public Radio Reporter Ian Donnis sat down with West to discuss the book and how much Rhode Island has changed.
Former delegates to the 1986 Constitutional Convention are speaking out against the event Rhode Islanders will vote on November 4th.
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.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this Tuesday on a top state official’s nomination to be a Superior Court judge. Richard Licht currently heads the state Department of Administration.
Governor Lincoln Chafee nominated Licht for the judicial post last month. If confirmed, Licht will take the place of retired Superior Court judge Judith Savage and earn close to 150-thousand dollars a year.