Representative Sherry Roberts Testifies Before the House Committee on Municipal Government Regarding Coventry’s Fire Districts
STATE HOUSE -- Representative Sherry Roberts (R-District 29 Coventry, West Greenwich) appeared before the House Committee on Municipal Government regarding her bill 17-H-5848, entitled the “Powers and Duties of Fire Districts in the Town of Coventry.” This bill would repeal the section of the general laws which provides for an automatic appropriation for Coventry Fire Districts, which fail to approve an annual budget.
Representative Roberts said, “The residents of Coventry are being deprived of their right of self-government by placing them into an unfavorable position of attempting to approve a budget while there is a guaranteed revenue stream coming in from a previously approved budget. It will make it much harder for the residents to make cuts to the budget when needed.”
Representative Roberts added, “The residents of these districts should have been given the option of voting on this automatic appropriation mechanism instead of the state forcing it upon them. Our fire districts are supposed to be autonomous in nature, free from outside influence to operate and perform their primary function of public safety to the citizens of Coventry.”
Representative Roberts concluded, “I am looking to correct a wrong that was imposed upon my constituents and to restore good government to these fire districts. This is a bad law and I call for its repeal as it provides unequal treatment, affecting no other municipality with fire districts except Coventry.”
House bill 5848 is co-sponsored by House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R-District 26 Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) and Representative Robert Nardolillo III (R-District 28 Coventry).
For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903