RI votes to restore Ethics Commission’s full authority

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters have approved an amendment to Rhode Island’s constitution restoring the Ethics Commission’s full authority over lawmakers, Eyewitness News projects.

The ethics amendment was Question 2 on the ballot.

The vote will amend the state’s constitution to undo a 2009 R.I. Supreme Court decision that restricted the Ethics Commission’s ability to police legislative conflicts of interest. The General Assembly’s Democratic leadership abruptly announced last spring they would agree to put the question on the ballot after resisting doing so for years.

The constitutional amendment will take effect on Jan. 3.

John Marion, executive director of Common Cause RI, released a statement Tuesday regarding the passage of Question 2.

“By saying ‘yes’ on Question 2 today, voters said ‘yes’ to ethics, transparency, and a better Rhode Island. Because of this victory once again our lawmakers will be held accountable for any conflicts of interest, and citizens will know that legislators are serving the public interest, not their own self-interest. We send our sincere thanks to everyone involved with this effort. Whether you put up a yard sign, passed out literature, or filled in the bubble on Election Day, you helped make Rhode Island a better place to live and a better place to do business.”

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