St. Patrick's toast held after fuss over lawmakers' drinking - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

St. Patrick's toast held after fuss over lawmakers' drinking

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By: The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island lawmakers have raised a glass to St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day, the week after a legislator complained about heavy drinking at the State House.              

The toasts were part of Irish and Italian cultural celebrations held Thursday in the legislative chambers.              

Providence Democratic Rep. Moira Walsh last week told WPRO-AM there's an "insane amount of drinking" in the building. Legislative leaders disputed that.              

Despite the brouhaha, Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello didn't consider skipping the toasts.         

He says it's tradition to celebrate various cultures and there isn't excessive alcohol consumption.         

Walsh, who took office in January, didn't drink the alcohol set at her desk.

She says she's frustrated by the amount of time-wasting celebrating and resolution passing.     

She says lawmakers should spend more time voting and less time celebrating.

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