Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rhode Island's Governors' Power to Place Referenda on the Ballot

Joe Baker did a good Daily News article on separation of powers regarding the proposed bill to strip the Guv of his power to put public referenda questions on the ballot. I think that Joe's new column just keeps getting better & better (like Kmareka). But that may be because we often agree. When Joe's columns start you never know exactly where he's going to end up & what position he will take. What a relief, as always, to find that Joe & I agree that these ballot questions are becoming more of a political platform with loaded questions taking center stage.

Separation of powers doesn't mean what some of it's supporters (not all) thought. While the Guv's office has obtained more power (appointments, etc.), it doesn't seem to care for the Legislative oversight part. And the current bill which passed the House & will likely pass the Senate is one of those, umm, I never thought of that, moments.

The Leiglsture's position, quite rightly, is that powers need to be balanced between the legislative, executive, & judicial branches. Regarding the ballot questions, it's all on the Guv's side now.

It's funny. When R.I. was the only state having a VERY strong legislature & weak Governor, this was a BAD thing. When the State is now the only one offering the Guv this ballot power, it's a GOOD thing. What's that old saying about what's good for the goose...?

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