Speaker should share his power with progressives
Recently, 21 Democrats in the Rhode Island House of Representatives (the Reform Caucus) issued a statement of commitment to stand strong against the way business has been conducted in the House chamber under the leadership of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. Currently, House rules allow the speaker to appoint committee members and chairs, to decide the flow of bills and legislation through the house chamber, and to suspend rules so changes to bills are not given the time needed for both public and legislators to review prior to voting. Many bills that have broad base support are prevented from getting to the floor for a vote.
This year, these bills included legislation that would support woman’s right to choose, pay- equity, anti- sexual harassment laws, and gun laws to keep firearms out of K-12 classrooms.
We need legislative rules reform and more “power sharing” so the voices of legislators and their constituents are heard.
As a Rhode Island voter, I support the Reform Caucus and thank my representative, Terri Cortvriend. for her voice in this caucus. I urge those who share this view to contact their representative to tell them you expect them to do the same.
Lynne I. Kushner