Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee, at their monthly meeting on January 3, 2019, passed a resolution supporting the RI House “Reform Caucus” package of proposed rules changes to address issues with transparency, accountability, and participation.

“Most Rhode Islanders are frustrated with the legislative process in the General Assembly,” said Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee Chair Len Katzman in a prepared statement. “Especially in the last days of the session when rules are suspended and bills are changed and pushed through without public comment or time for thoughtful consideration. That’s not how our government should work.”

The resolution details the four rules changes proposed by the Reform Caucus, which would limit the suspension of rules at the end of the session, require that substitute bills be posted for 48 hours, keep bills alive for the whole two-year term rather than requiring reintroduction, and providing a viable process for a “discharge petition” that would allow a majority to force consideration of bills being bottled up by leadership.

“Portsmouth’s Democratic Town Committee is committed to open, transparent government,” said Katzman, “And we are proud that two of our town’s elected representatives, Susan Donovan (D-68) and Terri Cortvriend (D-72) are members of the Reform Caucus which proposed these reforms. All Rhode Islanders can agree that these reforms will allow our elected officials be more responsive to the people they represent. We stand firmly in support of these reforms and urge all members of the General Assembly to take up these rule changes now, at the start of this session.”