2021 News & Press
This week the Senate and House are voting on the Climate Bill, H5445/S0078, which requires Rhode Islanders to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they produce. The bill legally requires dramatic reductions in the amount of greenhouse gases Rhode Island produces starting in 2030. If for any reason, Rhode Island could not achieve these reductions, anyone could file a law suit to force the reductions. Regulations could be imposed limiting what you can buy or making you pay more if you use fossil fuels. This bill could force most people to switch from heating their homes with oil to electricity by 2030 and to switch from heating their homes with natural gas to electricity by 2040. Recently Governor Dan McKee criticized this Climate Bill because it would “likely to lead to expensive, protracted, and vexatious litigation against the State of Rhode Island.”
The R.I. Republican Party has the following comments:
The Senate and the House of Representatives recently voted for legislation to address climate change by requiring Rhode Islanders to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they put into the atmosphere. The bill requires that the amount of greenhouse gases Rhode Island produces be reduced by 45 percent by 2030, by 80 percent by 2040 and reach net zero by 2050. The Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), which is composed of primarily gubernatorial appointees, would come up with plans to achieve these reductions. Any state agency could be required by EC4 to adopt regulations to implement its plans. These plans would not require the approval of the General Assembly. If for any reason, Rhode Island could not achieve these reductions, anyone could file a law suit to force the reductions.
Governor Raimondo has placed the nomination of John “Jack” Revens, Jr, Esq. forward to the General Assembly to fill a six year term on the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) that opens on March 1,2021. Jack Revens is a former Senate Majority leader who served for 20 years in the General Assembly. He is entitled to a state pension, yet has not taken the $12,000 a year payout despite being eligible. The PUC role carries a salary of $ 139,000 a year, which would substantially increase his state pension.
Rhode Island Republican Party Chair Sue Cienki stated, “ Lame duck Governor Raimondo is leaving for Washington, D.C. and should resign to allow Lt. Governor McKee to take the reins and make all appointments to boards and commissions. A lame duck governor helping an ally increase his state pension is nothing more than another act of cronyism at the taxpayers’ expense. Additionally, Rhode Island taxpayers would be better served if the appointment were a person who can commit to the job full time and not someone who spends a significant amount of time in Florida. “
Cienki concluded, “Governor Raimondo has to stop playing political games on her way out the door and allow the Lt. Governor attempt to get Rhode Island back on track”
Recently, WPRI and the Providence Journal reported how Brett Smiley, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Director of Administration, had taken thousands of dollars in contributions from individuals who are employed by state vendors. This has occurred despite Smiley promising to the Ethics Commission that he would not solicit or accept any campaign contributions from state vendors. So far, Smiley has returned $5,000 in contributions from individuals who are employed by the following state vendors: Shechtman Halperin Savage, Peregrine Group, J.R. Vinagro Corp, Washington Trust, and AAA Northeast. Smiley has not returned contributions from individuals associated with the Rosciti Construction company, or Accenture LLP.