RI House Leadership: “Shut Up and Sit Down!”
That’s the line WPRO’s Dan Yorke is using to characterize a new effort by the RI House Democratic leadership to stifle free speech (because, you know, they’re barely holding on to control up there….). Yorke was tipped off about this from Rep. John Laughlin and got confirmation in a conversation with Rep. Bob Watson. The House leadership tried to do the same thing last year and Yorke successfully led the charge against the bill. The section of the bill in question, submitted by Rep. Eileen Naughton, states:
(20) Amendments, articles or sections of the State budget shall concern only appropriations, expenditures, revenue or matters related thereto. No matter which has been the subject of a bill, resolution or amendment heard or considered in a House committee shall be offered as an amendment to the budget bill either in the Finance Committee or before the House, without the prior written consent of the Chair of the Finance Committee.
So that means that Rep. Steve Constantino, House Finance Committee Chair, has speech veto power. If he didn’t like your idea in “his” Committee, he’s not going to let you bring it up on the floor of the House. I’m not sure if this is the height of insecurity or arrogance. Or both?