RI bill seeks to change lt. gov. elections

The Rhode Island State House in Providence.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A proposed referendum being considered by Rhode Island lawmakers would change the state Constitution so a candidate for lieutenant governor runs on the same ticket as a candidate for governor.

If approved, the referendum would appear on the fall ballot. If endorsed by voters, the change would go into effect for the 2018 election.

Currently, Rhode Island is one of 18 states in which the lieutenant governor and governor are elected separately. Under the proposal, the two candidates would run together, similar to candidates for U.S. president and vice president.

Supporters say the change would encourage greater cooperation between the governor and lieutenant governor.

The proposed referendum is co-sponsored by Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport. The Senate plans a hearing on the proposal Wednesday.

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