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Senate OKs Special Election Bill for RI Office Vacancies

The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.

STATE HOUSE — The Senate passed Sen. Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey’s (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) special election bill for filling vacancies for secretary of state, attorney general and general treasurer.

The measures now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The joint resolution (2021-S 0015) would ask Rhode Island voters to amend the state constitution, allowing for a special election when vacancies occur in those positions, as long as there is more than one year remaining in the term. For situations where there is less than one year left to a term, the General Assembly would elect a replacement in grand committee.

“As it stands now, the General Assembly picks a replacement when a vacancy occurs in the office of secretary of state, general treasurer or attorney general,” said Senator McCaffrey. “This bill takes power away from the Grand Committee, which is a relic of the past, and puts it in the hands of the voters. If there is more than a year left in the term, there is plenty of time to call a special election and let the people decide who they want in these offices.”

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The Senate also passed a bill (2021-S 0057) that would enact the change, pending approval by the voters.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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