Constitutional Convention Commission appointments made


            STATE HOUSE – Appointments have been made to the bipartisan preparatory commission required under the state constitution in advance of November’s ballot question asking voters whether they wish to hold a constitutional convention.

            The 12-member commission is to hold public hearings in the coming weeks to foster public discussion about potential issues that might be addressed if the state were to hold such a convention.

            The General Assembly last month approved legislation (2024-H 8326, 2024-S 3136) to put the question on the ballot asking voters whether they wish to hold a convention to discuss and propose potential updates to the state constitution, and legislation (2024-H 8324, 2024-S 3147) to appoint the commission. Both bills were sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

            The commission – which is a separate body from the constitutional convention itself, and is to be disbanded after its report is issued – is made up of four representatives, four senators and four members of the public. Its report about potential issues a constitutional convention could address is to be included in the voter handbook that is mailed to all registered voters before the election.  The report date required in the legislation is September 1.      

            House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) has appointed Chairman Craven, who will serve as co-chair, Deputy Speaker Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence), and former representative Deborah Ruggiero, who served on the last constitutional convention commission ten years ago, as the member of the public.

            House Minority Leader Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry) has appointed House Minority Whip David J. Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester) and former representative Daniel Reilly as the member from the public.

            Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) has appointed Chairwoman Euer, who will serve as co-chair, Sen. Robert Britto (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) and Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) and Stephen Iannazzi as the public member.

            Senate Minority Leader Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Glocester) appointed herself to the commission and Joseph Larisa, Jr. as the public member.

            The commission’s first meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 24, at the State House.



JD Vance will be in the spotlight tonight. Donald Trump's running mate will headline tonight's speakers on day three of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. The nation's first millennial party nominee will formally introduce himself to the voting public, touching on his humble beginnings, his journey to become an Ohio Senator, and now VP nominee.        The Trump campaign isn't committing to a date for a vice presidential debate as uncertainty hangs over President Biden's re-election bid. A senior Trump campaign adviser said they don't know "who the Democrat nominee for vice president is going to be," suggesting the Trump campaign believes Biden will drop out of the race. The adviser added that locking in a debate would be unfair to "whoever Kamala Harris picks as her running mate."        President Biden says the only thing that could keep him out of the 2024 race is a medical condition. In a BET News interview, he was asked what would make him re-evaluate his campaign, Biden answered that he would do so "if I had some medical condition that emerged." He added "if doctors came to me and said, you got this problem and that problem."        New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is telling allies he will resign after being found guilty in his federal corruption trial. NBC News is reporting Menendez made the decision following the verdict Wednesday. The veteran Democrat accepted cash and gold bars in exchange for official favors involving two New Jersey businessmen.        A Federal Reserve Governor says it's "getting closer" to cutting interest rates. Christopher Waller hinted the Fed expects a rare "soft landing" of the economy unless there are any major changes in inflation and employment numbers. He said "I do believe we are getting closer to the time when a cut in the policy rate is warranted."        The lawyer for Terrell Davis says United Airlines' apology to the NFL Hall of Famer is not enough. Davis was taken off a flight in handcuffs last week after an incident with a flight attendant. United apologized to the athlete and said it removed the flight attendant from duty while they "closely review this matter."