The Scoop: Block Calls Speaker Fox Imperialistic; Fox Responds
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Block Calls Speaker Fox an Imperialistic Leader; Fox Responds
Moderate Party candidate for governor Ken Block is accusing House Speaker Gordon Fox of being an imperial speaker who does not have his constituents’ best interests in mind.
“The Speaker of the House exerts almost complete control over the legislative process in the RI General Assembly,” Block told GoLocal. “No bill passes that the Speaker does not want to pass.”
Specifically, Block references Fox’s decision to kill the Master Lever bill, which looked to repeal a 1939 Rhode Island law that created a straight party option at the polls.
“Despite the support of a majority of 42 state Representatives, thousands of emails from concerned RI voters and unanimous testimony of more than 100 people who came to the State House in person to testify that the Master Lever had to go, the Speaker personally killed the bill in the most unaccountable way possible—he did not allow the House Judiciary Committee to vote on the bill,” Block told GoLocal.
According to Block, Speaker Fox’s approach puts him at odds with the will of the people.
“When the Speaker defies the wishes of both the people who he is elected to represent and his legislative members who have clearly indicated their position on this issue, he is not working in the best interest of Rhode Island citizens,” Block told GoLocal.
“Once again, gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is issuing self-serving statements for his own political gain," said Larry Berman, spokesman for Speaker Fox. "Speaker Fox has stated on numerous occasions that he believes the master lever is a legitimate option that many voters choose to utilize.”
Master Lever Debate
In April, Block released data showing that killing the Master Lever legislation helped Speaker Fox avoid defeat in November. According to Block, the final results of the District 4 State Representative race between Speaker Fox and challenger Mark Binder showed that Master Lever votes likely made the difference in helping the Speaker keep his seat.
See More Scoops Below
If you have a scoop for The Scoop, please email it to news@GoLocalProv.com
New Taveras Appointee
Mayor Taveras Appoints Xay Khamsyvoravong to Providence Water Supply Board
Following Mayor Angel Taveras’ appointment of Xay Khamsyvoravong to serve on the Providence Water Supply Board, the appointment was recently confirmed by the Providence City Council and approved last night by the Providence Water Supply Board. The Board nominated and voted Xay to serve as Board Chairman. Xay’s appointment was made to fill the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Board Chairman Brett Smiley.
“Over half of Rhode Islanders rely on Providence Water for clean, reliable water, making it one of the city’s and the state’s most important assets,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “I am confident that Xay will provide invaluable leadership and insight to Providence Water.”
Xay, a Providence native and resident, brings to the Board a strong background in government and infrastructure. Over the course of his financial career, Xay has handled over one billion dollars in financings for government borrowers across the country, with nearly half of those transactions funding water and wastewater projects. He currently works as a vice president of government and institutional banking at Webster Bank, and has a background in public finance.
Xay also brings extensive public service experience, having served as the deputy chief of staff in the state treasury at the height of the financial crisis, advising the treasurer and handling the office’s policy, communications and intergovernmental affairs.
Xay holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University and a master’s degree from Brown University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy. He is a past recipient of undergraduate fellowships from Yale Law School’s Arthur Liman Public Interest Fund and Harvard Law School’s Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising.
“I am excited and honored to have this opportunity to serve the City,” said Xay. “The Providence Water Supply Board has demonstrated the important role that the City has and will continue to have in the effective regionalization of municipal services. I look forward to working with Mayor Taveras, the team at Providence Water, and our regional partners to ensure the transparent and financially prudent operation of Providence Water.”
Whitehouse Talks Shutdown
Sen. Whitehouse issues statement on deal to open the government and avoid default.
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of legislation to end the government shutdown and avoid a default:
“This shutdown and near-default crisis was entirely unnecessary and has harmed our economy and our reputation in the world. I’m glad that the Senate was able to craft a bipartisan plan to move past the crisis, so we can turn to the real issues facing our country: creating jobs, supporting the middle class, and fighting climate change. But we also can’t forget: we must never again allow extremist hostage-taking to create this disruption. As Rhode Island continues recovering from the recession, we can’t afford these stratagems.”
Commission continues study of East Bay bridge funding.
The Special Legislative Commission to Study the Funding for East Bay Bridges met yesterday to continue its discussion of ways to eliminate the Sakonnet River Bridge toll.
“The commission met yesterday and is continuing to gather information,” Larry Berman, spokesman for the RI House of Representatives told GoLocal. “They have set the next meeting for Nov. 20, when they anticipate that a staff member from the National Conference of State Legislators will make a presentation on new transportation initiatives that taking place in other states.”
The commission was established during the 2013 legislative session to allow lawmakers and officials from affected state departments and agencies an opportunity to investigate various funding plans, potentially eliminating the need for tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Rep. Helio Melo (D-Dist. 64, East Providence), Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, are co-chairs of the study commission.
Pictured: Rep. Helio Melo
Joint Municipal Shared Services Study Commission to meet next week.
The two advisory committees to the Joint Municipal Shared Services Study Commission will meet Oct. 22 to continue their work in helping to determine whether and how cities and towns could collaborate to provide some municipal services more efficiently and effectively.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Tax Collection Advisory Committee will meet to hear from Woonsocket Finance Director Thomas Bruce and discuss local tax collections, consolidation, and potential considerations of shared services.
The Public Safety Dispatch Advisory committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m., and will hear from Thomas Dubas, director of the Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center, on the consolidation of public safety dispatch services in Massachusetts.
Both committees’ meetings will be televised live on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Channel 15 by Cox and Full Channel subscribers and Channel 34 by Verizon viewers, and will be live streamed at www.rilin.state.ri.us/CapTV.
Each advisory committee consists of working professionals and officials from all over Rhode Island in those services as well as other stakeholders and experts. The panels have been asked to make recommendations and provide information to the joint commission as it develops the means for interested municipalities to share those services.
Both groups are set to meet monthly through December 2014.
Capitol TV Autumnfest
Capitol Television will repeat coverage of Woonsocket’s Autumnfest celebration several times daily this week.
Did you miss out on this year’s Autumfest in Woonsocket? Don’t worry, because Capitol Television has you covered.
Capitol TV, which is the television production department of the Rhode Island General Assembly, is currently airing a half-hour program that includes highlights of the parade along with Woonsocket representatives Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket), Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and Stephen M. Casey (D-Dist. 50, Woonsocket); Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland); State Treasurer Gina A. Raimondo; Providence Mayor Angel Taveras; Autumnfest parade Grand Marshal Dave Richards; and local citizens.
Capital TV can be seen on Channel 15 by Cox and Full Channel subscribers and on Channel 34 by Verizon viewers. The program will be shown at the following times this week:
- Thursday, Oct. 17 – 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 9 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 18 – noon, 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 19 – 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 20 – 11 a.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m.
Starting today, the program will also be available online. Visit www.rilin.state.ri.us/CapTV and click on “Capitol Television Video on Demand” to view.
- The Scoop - 8 Ways the Gov’t Shutdown Will Impact Rhode Island
- The Scoop - Does RI GOP Want Ken Block Or Not?
- The Scoop - Fmr. State Rep is Representing Cheaters Strip Club
- The Scoop - Fung: Here’s How to Make RI More Competitive
- The Scoop - Ken Block Offers Alternatives to Sales Tax Elimination
- The Scoop - Napolitano: RIGOP Should Have Raffled A Different Gun
- The Scoop - No More Sales Tax? - RI News and Politics at 4 pm
- The Scoop - RI Will No Longer Do Business with Iran
- The Scoop - Rep. Shekarchi Not Ruling Out Run for Lt. Governor
- The Scoop - Sionni to Protest Taveras’ Fundraiser
- The Scoop: Block Denied Access to March in Columbus Day Parade
- The Scoop: Ethics Commission Lawyer - Fox Investigation 90 Days
- The Scoop: Fmr. Fire Chief Eyeing Solomon’s Council Seat; More
- The Scoop: Fung Emboldened by Position in Brown Poll
- The Scoop: Giroux to Run for Gov, RI Tea Party Talks Obamacare
- The Scoop: Harrop Blasts RI GOP Over Failure to Attract Hispanics