Toward What End They Rush
Ed Achorn takes the opportunity of the eternal contract bill — which he calls “remarkably reckless and profoundly anti-democratic piece of special-interest legislation” — to offer a helpful rule of thumb on the General Assembly’s standard operating procedures:
This is an idea that, at the very least, merits serious discussion, rather than the rush treatment it got in the Senate. When something is whipped through the legislature at lightning speed, it is a good bet that it harms the public and serves special interests. When something is discussed to death, and still not passed, it is a good sign the special interests oppose it and the public supports it. To wit: The General Assembly has refused, yet again, to create fair elections in Rhode Island, as in most other states, by eliminating the corrupting master lever. In doing so, it cavalierly ignored the formal wishes of the state’s top election officials and the government of 23 Rhode Island communities. And Rhode Island has still not joined 48 of the 49 states that make indoor prostitution illegal. (In Nevada, prostitution is legal in some counties but strictly regulated.)
There is no remedy but to change the players, and the last election gave reason to fear that such an act may be practically impossible.