PROVIDENCE — Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, R-Westerly, and his Republican colleagues are again proposing two government-reform measures: the line-item veto and the establishment of an inspector general to identify waste and fraud.
Both measures, Algiere said, "would be significant progress toward making our government one that deserves the public’s confidence.”
Rhode Island is one of only six states that does not grant its governor line-item veto power 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.
In a press release, Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, R-Ashaway, said, "Just having it there is a deterrent that will prevent questionable spending proposals in the first place, and will strengthen our budget process.”
The second bill would create an Office of Inspector General to examine the procurement of supplies, services or construction by state government entities. The inspector general would be appointed to a five-year term by a majority vote of the governor, attorney general and general treasurer. 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," said Sen. Thomas J. Paolino, R-Lincoln.
Other members of the caucus are Sens. Jessica de la Cruz, North Smithfield, and Gordon E. Rogers, R-Foster.