June 19, 2010

"We Want to Vote for It" - Speaker Fox Discovers a Novel Way to Handle Legislation

Monique Chartier

In yesterday's Providence Journal, House Speaker Gordon Fox describes how the new Rhode Island fireworks law came to be.

"It was my intention to put it in just to get the discussion going for next year," Fox said. "And the members just liked it. So next thing I know, they're like, 'We want to vote for it.' And boom -- I shouldn't say boom -- it passed."

So let's review. The bill was considered in committee, with testimony and everything. It was voted out of committee and onto the House floor. And then (drum roll), all seventy five House members got to, you know, express their sincere opinion about the bill by voting "Yea" or "Nay" on it.

It wasn't held in committee for further study. Once on the Floor, it didn't get sent back to committee with an extremely convenient, uniquely interpreted voice vote.

Amazing! Any chance this procedure will catch on for other - dare we say all - bills that are filed at the General Assembly?

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You mean bills with substance?HAHAHAHA/LOLLOLOL
Okay,I'm done.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 19, 2010 2:02 PM


Does that mean you want there to be an up or down vote on things for binding arbitration for teachers, making teacher contracts last forever until a new one is agreed to, or any other of the bad bills that General Assembly leadership has killed, but i'm sure the vast majority of the rank and file members don't have the guts to vote against?

Whether you have the intellectual honesty to admit it or not, the leadership has killed some very bad bills.

Posted by: Rasputin at June 19, 2010 10:52 PM

Since when is the General Assembly a debate team? I thought their job is to consider and pass/fail bills on their merit? So what is this then?

"It was my intention to put it in just to get the discussion going for next year,"

Get the discussion going? So when they're working until 2 and 4 in the morning on the final sessions, and some legislators want to come back an additional day to finish, yet Fox says "you know when it's time to go home", but he's clogging up the system with bills he just hopes to have discussed?

I understand that this is how it works, but should it? Shouldn't every bill be considered on its merits and not how many years it has been submitted?

Posted by: Patrick at June 20, 2010 8:18 AM

Why the hell can't we legalize ALL federally approved consumer fireworks like NH and around 35 other states do?

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at June 20, 2010 11:09 AM