A nine-point plan intended to reduce gun-related violence and reduce the threat of a school shooting in Rhode Island was unveiled by leading elected and public-safety officials at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon. Legislative leaders repeatedly called the proposal a starting point for discussion, raising questions about what exactly will meet with General Assembly muster before the legislature ends it session in June.
Legislative leaders signaled Monday that local officials in Coventry should be the ones responsible for addressing the future of a troubled fire district in the town. A Superior Court judge has ordered the Central Coventry Fire District to close April 11th.
A few years back, when lawmakers in states such as Vermont and Massachusetts approved gay marriage, the political chatter was always focused on whether a vote supporting marriage equality would kill a legislative career due to a backlash against those who approved gay unions.
Those who supported gay marriage in legislatures were rarely ousted from office for their votes.
A state Senate bill being filed Wednesday by Senator Frank Ciccone (D-Providence) calls for a statewide referendum to offer an up or down vote on same-sex marriage.
The bill is cosponsored by 10 other senators: Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown0; Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; William Walaska (D-Warwick); Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry); James Doyle (D-Pawtucket); Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry); Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick); Frank Lombardi (D-Cranston); Walter Felag (D-Warren); and David Bates (R-Barrington).
The timing was purely coincidental, but it's hard to imagine a sharper contrast in leadership styles than what Rhode Island saw this week from Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.
The tiny city of Central Falls is moving ahead Thursday evening with what is considered one of the toughest ethics reforms for a small municipality in the country, even as efforts to restore state Ethics Commission oversight of the General Assembly continue to languish.