RI Supreme Court: Governor Controls CMRC

In a major victory for separation of powers proponents, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that the Governor, not the legislature, has ultimate control over the Coastal Management Resources Council. From 7to7:

In what may finally settle a longstanding controversy, the Rhode Island Supreme Court today came down solidly in favor of giving the governor sole control of the powerful state Coastal Resources Management Council and against allowing any further legislative influence over the council.
While most other state agencies have been revamped in line with the Separation of Powers referendum approved by voters several years ago, leaders of the House of Representatives have insisted the Rhode Island Constitution continued to give the legislature power to regulate the coastline, and that meant the power to appoint members to the CRMC.
The House basically asked the court four questions:
1. Would a bill allowing legislators to resume sitting on the CRMC violate the Separation of Powers Amendment?
The court said yes.
2. Would the bill allow the House speaker to appoint public members to CRMC?
The court said no.
3. Is the Separation of Powers amendment in effect, or does it need legislative approval.
The court said yes, the amendment is in effect. {ie; it’s “self executing”}
4. Is CRMC a legislative function?
The court said no.

Full decision can be found here (PDF). One wonders if this is actually, truly, the end of this issue. But it is Rhode Island…

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13 years ago

It’s nice to know that the governor will be allowed to control some portion of the state government for a change. This is definitely a big win for our state, and especially for the concept of separation of powers.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
13 years ago

You know, this whole issue is just unbelievable. I mean, what ignorant bastard couldn’t see this coming. You have have to be a total imbecile to even try to fight this issue. It is as clear as day. Then again, when you consider the absolute morons in the legislature, I guess you can’t be surprised. What a bunch of stupid jackasses, and what a waste of time.

13 years ago

I wonder if the wording for the first three questions were changed just a bit and put Paiva-Weed to the test to see if she would pass muster.
First, she needs to recuse herself on all matters regarding Newport Slots because of her work with the law firm where she is employed.
Second, should she be Senate President if she cannot be a part of all matters regarding one of the largest revenue streams for the state of RI?

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