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Thoughts from the Nation: General Assembly Roundup > 06/28/11
Posted: 6/28/2011 11:21:19 AM
Updated: 6/28/2011 11:43:05 AM
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Since the legislative session is coming to a close, we should spend some time going over a potpourri of bills that have been introduced and run down whether they should be passed or not. Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.
Since Linc Chafee lobbed his financial molotov cocktail back in March when he introduced his budget, people have been watching the budget closely. The House passed the bill after a marathon session last Friday. The process was the typical RI budget ram through. The Finance Committee had the bill for a few hours before they had to vote. The full House had it for a few days. The Senate Finance Committee voted it out Monday and the vote for the full Senate will happen Wednesday. The people who promote this budget point to the spending cuts in human services. Others point to the tax increases. I think that Governor Chafee did the GA a huge favor with his budget so everyone is walking around feeling relieved that they dodged a bullet. The budget is really just more kicking the can down the road.
Passed as part of the budget this bill once again repeats the mistake of the last casino question. NO ONE KNOWS THE DETAILS. The same strategy was tried with the West Warwick casino and people didnt trust the General Assembly to make the deal afterwards. The hope will be that feelings will change because everyone is used to a casino at the Twin River location. If the people of RI want to see a nightmare unfold they will approve casino gaming at Twin River with out a laid out plan. Never invite a vampire into your home. Youre powerless against him at that point.
The Civil Union bill will be voted on by the Senate this week. The bill will pass and well have civil unions in RI. This bill took up too much time and way to much attention in this vital session. If the legislature cared this much about our economy wed be a lot better off.
The bill that everyone thought was gone has resurfaced to be taken up this week in the House Labor Committee. The bill H5961 would allow for teachers wages to be covered by arbitration in the event of a contract dispute. This would put monetary decisions in the hands of arbitrators who have no tie to a local community nor do they care whether a town can afford the price. Most of these arbitrators are labor friendly and this bill will cost the tax payers big time. It has been rumored that this bill is payoff to labor for taking away longevity pay in the budget. Call your legislators and tell them to vote no on this bill. They saved it for the week before the holiday for a reason.
The current law in the state says you cant ticket someone for not wearing their seatbelt unless you stop them for something else first. There has been a law introduced to make the offense a primary one which is to allow for you to get ticketed for not wearing your seatbelt. I find this to be another bill put in under the guise of safety while really only becoming another revenue generator. How much do we stand to get from the feds for passing this bill? We dont need another reason for people to pulled over and ticketed by police in RI.
These are the bills of interest from my point of view. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION!! The General Assembly is still in session and your money and freedom are still at risk. If you think Ive missed any important bills in your mind leave them below in the comments section.
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