Cote & Reilly Call for G.A., Not RIDOT, to Set Tolls & Gantry Locations


Senator Marc Cote and Representative Daniel Reilly make a sound separation-of powers case for this in Monday’s GoLocalProv.

One of the most important checks involves the legislative branch’s ability to keep the executive branch from spending too much money. …

Essentially, DOT is being allowed to set a tax rate, collect the taxes and spend the proceeds, all without any input from any other branch of government. We see this provision as a violation of the principles of checks and balances and an infringement upon the principle of separation of powers.

The assignment to RIDOT of toll rate authority is clearly in violation of the separation of powers section of the Rhode Island Constitution. Members of the General Assembly must stand up and be counted. Do they stand with and for the state Constitution and the residents of the state? Or do they side with unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats against the people?

  • stuckinRI

    “Or do they side with unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats against the people?” – utter silence so far from the GA, does that answer your question?
    I think they are trying to keep as low a profile until after the November elections. They know most of their constituents didn’t agree with the tolls, but on the insider-politics side of things they needed to “go along to get along”. And this being RI where pretty much every incumbent gets reelected ad infinitum, the majority of the GA is just trying not to stir the pot by introducing any additional progressive/Big Government/oppressive/costly/call-it-what-you-will legislation. Let ‘the people’ enjoy their summer, keep quite and hopefully enough voters will get over the toll nonsense and “come to their senses” and vote for the same old, same old once again.
    After all, this IS Rhode Island. God forbid we actually make some positive (i.e. get the gommit off our backs) changes around here.