First Trickle of News

Probably the most significant item to emerge, thus far, from the legislative appendix underway at the State House was House Majority Leader Gordon Fox’s assurance that binding arbitration for teacher contracts is not going to make a surprise appearance:

Fox confirmed that a proposal to allow binding arbitration in contract disputes with teachers’ unions is dead, at least for now.
“It’s not going to come up in October,” Fox said, minutes before the House session began, while praising recent efforts by the House Labor Committee to examine the issue. “I wouldn’t want to do anything like that. [It would be] a disservice by trying to bum-rush this through.”

It was surely significant that we all — online, on the radio, and on the State House steps — didn’t sigh from relief and look away when binding arbitration didn’t make the initial agenda. Of course, it’s too early to know what has appeared in the flurry of bills, some of them freshly rewritten, that are flying through the legislature’s fingers.
The other hot item is the ban on indoor prostitution, which passed the House by a wide margin. It’s interesting that only one fewer representative (eight) didn’t bother to vote on the measure than voted against it (nine); notably abstaining were progressive friend Betsy Dennigan and ostensible cultural conservative Peter Palumbo.
Beyond that, we’ve got advancement of Patriots license plates, anti-texting-while-driving legislation, a citizen vote on “plantations” in the state’s name, and compulsory chemical testing by police of drivers involved in serious accidents.
ADDENDUM:
Bill Rappleye and Andrew correct me in the comments section, noting that Dennigan and Palumbo have good reasons for not having voted: The former’s resignation from the General Assembly was effective immediately, so she’s not participating in the two day push, and the latter is home with the flu.

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billrappleye
billrappleye
11 years ago

palumbo’s home with swine flu…according to an announcement from the dais yesterday by speaker murphy

Andrew
Editor
11 years ago

Rep. Palumbo wasn’t present at the Judiciary Committee hearing either — presumably for the reason cited above.
Rep. Dennigan’s resignation from the House earlier this year was effective immediately. From an accuracy perspective, she probably shouldn’t be listed in the roll at all. Note that Rep. Slater is also listed as “not voting” even though his seat is also vacant at the moment (though, this being RI, maybe “not voting” in his case shouldn’t be assumed).

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

Word is that S 0713 (perpetual teacher contracts) is on the House docket this afternoon. Don’t know how that squares with Fox’s statement that binding arbitration won’t be addressed during this session. BA is simply the spawn of the perpetual contracts bill. Did he actually make that statement with a straight face?

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