So Why Is Rhode Island’s Governor Not Pushing For the Line Item Veto?


In an op-ed in today’s Providence Journal, Ken Block does a very good job making the case for the line-item veto.

A line-item veto provides greater budget transparency by allowing a governor to strike out pieces of the budget, forcing the legislature to hold an override vote for each struck item. With the line-item veto, a more nuanced debate can be had in the legislature regarding the merits of each struck item, making it very difficult to override vetoes of particularly bad parts of the budget.

It sure seems like a no-brainer for Rhode Island to join forty four other states and give the line-item veto to its governor. Why is Governor Raimondo, who is unquestionably a numbers person and, accordingly, must see the value of this tool, not rallying public support or lobbying legislators to implement the line-item veto in Rhode Island?

  • oceanstater

    I suppose the answer to the title question is the Governor doesn’t want to antagonize powerful legislative leaders.
    As someone who is liberal on a number of issues, I’ve tried, to no avail, to promote liberal support for the line item veto (and other good government issues) on the basis that if they want public support for issues such as public higher education, environmental regulation, housing assistance etc they should be leading the charge to build confidence that government programs are held accountable, to ensure there are measures to root out waste, and to ensure legislative pet projects are under control.