The excerpt I would pick to introduce my interview with Steve Frias, about the work the preparatory commission for a constitutional convention has done, would be this one…
Steve Frias: There will be an argument that there are reforms that people want in this state that are not happening, because the General Assembly refuses to give them serious consideration, for instance, the line-item veto. Rhode Island is one of the few states not to have it. On Ethics Commission jurisdiction, the Supreme Court made their decision in 2009, I believe, and five years later, while there have been votes on it in one chamber or another, it hasn’t been adopted yet….
This is a way for the people to amend the Constitution, and get things into it, that the General Assembly has shown by its behavior in recent years that it is just not willing to do.
However, when I asked Commissioner Frias directly what the most important thing he thought people could get out of the commission’s report was, his answer was
SF: That the 1973 Convention was really cheap.
(In 1973, the convention cost about $20K, to be exact)
The entire interview, including a view on what a complete cost-benefit analysis of a constitutional convention should involve, is available below the fold.