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RI Republican Leaders Oppose Full-Time Legislature (posted January 11, 2004)

Republican leaders in the Rhode Island General Assembly oppose a full-time legislature and want to cut the size of the legislative budget. Appearing together on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference", Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere and House Minority Leader Robert Watson expressed skepticism that a switch from a part-time to a full-time legislature would improve the General Assembly's performance. "A full-time legislature, that is not going to solve any problems," said Algiere. Instead, the two GOP leaders emphasized the importance of stronger disclosure rules and a more competitive two-party system.

Algiere called for the legislature to reduce its budget in light of the 25 percent reduction in the size of the House and Senate. Referring to the General Assembly budget, he said, "It's big and it grows each year....We need to make significant cuts".

With Republicans holding only 6 seats in the 38-member Senate and 12 in the 75-person House, the GOP leaders predicted that scandals involving leading Democrats would help them pick up seats during the 2004 elections. According to Watson, "we have a political scandal and that creates a good environment to win seats."
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services