Algiere reform bills would institute line-item veto, create inspector general
STATE HOUSE – With the cosponsorship of the entire Senate Republican Caucus, Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere has once again proposed two measures aimed at government reform: the line-item veto and the establishment of an inspector general to identify waste and fraud.
“The people of Rhode Island deserve effective government, one that is responsible with their tax dollars. Both the inspector general and the line-item veto would be tools to identify and prevent improper government spending, raising the integrity of Rhode Island government. These reforms would be significant progress toward making our government one that deserves the public’s confidence,” said Minority Leader Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown).
Currently, Rhode Island is one of only six states that does not grant its government line-item veto power, which allows him or her to veto only a portion of a bill without vetoing the entire piece of legislation. Line-item veto power is often used by governors to eliminate specific programs or spending measures within budget bills.
The bill would ask voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution giving the governor line-item veto authority.
“Allowing the governor a line-item veto provides a way to remove objectionable items from the budget without the repercussions of having to veto the entire state budget bill. Just having it there is a deterrent that will prevent questionable spending proposals in the first place, and will strengthen our budget process,” said Minority Whip Elaine J. Morgan (R-Dist. 34, Hopkinton, Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond, West Greenwich).
The second bill would create the Office of Inspector General, charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in the expenditure of public funds.
The legislation would grant the inspector general the authority to examine the procurement of supplies, services or construction by state government entities in Rhode Island. The inspector general would be appointed by a majority vote of the governor, attorney general and general treasurer for a five-year term and would be selected without regard for political affiliation. The individual would have to have a demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, investigation, or criminal justice administration.
“Taxpayers are entitled to complete accountability for the billions of dollars of their money that our state spends. An inspector general would be able to stop waste, identify mismanagement and crime, and prevent opportunities for misuse of public funds. This proposal is an investment that would save money while bolstering the public’s faith in government,” said Senior Deputy Minority Leader Thomas J. Paolino (R-Dist. 17, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield).
In addition to Leader Algiere, Minority Whip Morgan and Senior Deputy Minority Leader Paolino, the Senate Republican Caucus includes Sen. Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Glocester) and Sen. Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate).
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903