Sweeping Changes Under the Carpet (For Safe Keeping?)
The temporary end of this particular controversy was easy to miss, and the manner in which it occurred tells us much about the folks who precipitated it:
The debate over proposed changes to the House rules was put to rest last week when Rules Committee Chairwoman Rep. Eileen S. Naughton, D-Warwick, announced that she would not hold hearings on any rule changes this session.
“After consultation with House Leadership and some members of the House Rules Committee, I have decided against holding a hearing this year on any possible rules changes,” Naughton said in a statement.
“Traditionally, we have amended the House rules every two years, and we see no pressing need to change the rules this session. We will review some of the suggestions that were incorporated into this year’s legislation after the session is completed and discuss them next year,” she said.
Several proposed rule changes introduced since January raised the ire of Republicans and talk-radio hosts, including one that could have limited some lawmakers’ ability to influence the state budget process by reducing the time that rank-and-file legislators can access the House version of the spending plan before voting on it.
I don’t think it’s paranoia to suspect that the back-room operators will commence looking for a way to bring about their ends without inciting a demonstration at the statehouse.