This Is How It’s Done In The RI Senate
We hear people talking about “throw ’em all out” and actually, I’m ok with throwing out the good with the bad, because we have so many more of the bad. But it’s interesting when you can actually see first-hand just how bad it can be and the odds that are stacked against those that are trying to do some good up on Smith Hill.
I saw this video link come across my Twitter feed this morning and thought it’d be interesting to check out. It’s from the second to last day of the 2011 RI Senate session when the issue of binding arbitration for teachers popped up on the floor for a vote around 10:30 pm. It went into committee, got amended, got out of committee, got amended some more and was ready to be voted on by the full body of the Senate. This is where Senator Beth Moura (R-Cumberland/Lincoln) steps up and simply asks to give this bill 24 hours so local mayors and town councils (not to even mention taxpayers) could see it and offer their thoughts back to their Senators, as that’s who would have to live by it.
Immediately, Senator Maryellen Goodwin (D-Providence), the Majority Whip gets into the fray to defend the bill. Her defense is that the Senate is already aware that the mayors and town councils don’t want this bill to pass, so it’s pointless to wait 24 hours.
Really? That seems logical? You know you’re doing something that your constituents don’t want, so it makes sense to go forward and vote on it anyway? Plus, it’s always interesting to hear the whining and complaining about needing to move legislation simply because it’s late at night. I have an idea for you people, adjourn and come back tomorrow if you don’t want to be there late into the night!
And what is with the comment, “I know you’re a freshman…”? It’s as if Goodwin is talking down to Moura. It seems like she’s saying, “Aren’t you so cute trying to do this, but we don’t let things like that happen. Thanks for trying to play with the adults, now go back to the childrens’ table.”
One last point here. How do the citizens of Rhode Island deal with this behavior and react to the efforts of both of these senators? Goodwin is running unopposed for her seat while Moura has three others seeking hers. Gotta love Rhode Island politics.