Monday, June 13, 2005

RI Politics: Voter Initiative

Regular commenter and tipster KinRI has written the following to help inform the people of Rhode Island about a recent referendum put before the people:

This past November, voters in Rhode Island overwhelmingly approved a referendum question approving Separation of Powers (78% vs. 22%). The Constitution of the state of Rhode Island was flawed , allowing legislators to execute the laws they enact. So at least now, our Constitution is on par with the rest of the other 49 states and the US Constitution…finally!

With this momentum, hopefully, Voter Initiative in Rhode Island will become possible. Voter Initiative (also called Initiative and Referendum) is a lengthy process that allows citizens to place referendum questions on a ballot for a statutory change, constitutional amendment, or both.

Operation Clean Government’s Voter Initiative bill has been introduced every year since 1994 by Senator Marc Cote (D) and has failed to make it to the floor of the General Assembly every year. This despite the fact that 19 municipal governments in Rhode Island and two other New England states (Massachusetts and Maine) have voter initiative!

The Voter Initiative bill written by OCG addresses potential problems experienced by states like California by: protecting civil rights and liberties, having fiscal restrictions, and having one of the highest voter signature requirements in the country. In fact, the California Commission of Campaign Financing considers the OCG Voter Initiative to be model legislation!

Let’s help Operation Clean Government give the citizens of Rhode Island a voice--especially with all the shenanigans that continue to occur in our General Assembly…

UPDATE: Links fixed...Sorry.