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?