Guest MINDSETTER™ Block: Important Line-Item Veto Hearing - We Need Your Help
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
For four years now, a public push has been underway to bring a line-item veto to Rhode Island. For four years, the folks running the General Assembly have thumbed their noses at bringing Rhode Island in line with 44 other states who already have a line-item veto.
The reason the autocratic rulers of our General Assembly don’t want a line-item veto is because the veto would provide a check and balance on the ability of the Speaker to put anything he wants into the budget. Rhode Island Speakers often jam last minute items into the budget and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Remember when $50 million was given to the Port of Providence in a recent budget just a day or two before the budget was passed?
How many of you believe that just one person should be able to put anything they want into our budget??
Speaker Mattiello is desperately trying to get out of this legislative session without putting a line-item veto question on this November’s ballot. His weapon to do this is his lame, farcical “line-item veto study commission”.
This commission has held only three meetings where they heard testimony. The testimony they heard had no relevance at all for what a line-item veto should look like for Rhode Island.
The sham was so bad that at one meeting they had a historian waste an hour by talking about Rhode Island history going back to 1663.
In Massachusetts, Governor Baker has a line-item veto, and he uses it to strike several hundred million dollars a year from that state’s budget. Each budget item he strikes goes back to the legislature for a possible override vote.
The Rhode Island Senate has unanimously sponsored a line-item veto bill that is modeled off of Massachusetts’ form of line-item veto.
Here is where you come in.
This Wednesday, 5/23/2018, at 3:00 p.m. in State House room 101, the line-item veto study commission is holding yet another hearing, but this time public testimony will be taken.
We need you to simply show up, to show support for the line-item veto, for the simple reason that while the leadership of the General Assembly is quite powerful, they ultimately have to respect when the public rises up to make things happen.
You don’t need to speak if you don’t want to.
The public helped make separation of powers a reality in 2003 – despite the objections of the General Assembly. And in 2014, the General Assembly abolished the Master Lever again due to fantastic public pressure.
Let’s do it again!
If you can’t make it to the hearing, you can still lend your voice to the effort by calling Speaker Mattiello at (401) 222-2466 and Senate President Ruggerio at (401) 222-6655. Tell them that you want a strong line-item veto on the ballot this November.
See you at the State House on Wednesday!
Ken Block is a Rhode Island businessman and ran for Governor if Rhode Island in 2014.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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