10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 44 (Lieutenant Governor Race & Constitutional Convention)


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To correct Bob’s assertion that the lieutenant governor’s office lost its role in the state senate because of the 1986 constitutional convention, the notes to Article VIII, Section 2 (et alia) on this page state that that particular change was made by 1994 ballot initiatives concocted and put on the ballot by the General Assembly, as part of a reduction in the number of legislators.

So, Bob’s suggestion that that should show me how dangerous a constitutional convention can be is arguably backwards.  The method by which that change came about was actually subject to a lot of the maneuvering we see in our regular legislative process.  I wasn’t paying much attention back then, although I vaguely recall the moment the new policy went into effect in 2003, but it seems like the discussion wasn’t much about the lieutenant governor, but was mostly about the legislature.

I’m speculating, here, but one can imagine a scenario in which the General Assembly crafted legislation so as to downplay one aspect of its consequences.  A constitutional convention, which ultimately routes around the usual legislative process, would be an opportunity for the people of Rhode Island to correct that change if they wanted to do so.