Rhode Island lawmakers moving quickly on ethics reform

By : The Associated Press


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Hoping to show it’s cleaning up its act, the Rhode Island General Assembly is moving quickly on a reformist agenda that would put lawmakers under the watch of an ethics commission and strengthen lobbying rules.

Democratic leaders are urging passage of ethics legislation they recently introduced, with just weeks left in the session. It would ask voters in November to approve a constitutional amendment giving the state’s Ethics Commission power to punish lawmakers for conflicts of interest.

Rep. Michael Marcello, a Scituate Democrat, has long pushed for ethics commission oversight without success. He says a new bill is finally getting attention because the House is under an ethical cloud following the resignation of its former finance chairman.

The House is also scheduled to vote on a lobbying reform bill Tuesday.

(c) The Associated Press WLNE-TV  2016