Fed Up in RI’s “NOTICE”
and Formal Statement in Opposition to:
House Bill No. 8293
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES
Introduced by Representative John G. Edwards
House Majority Whip, (D) District 70 in Portsmouth and Tiverton.
Dear Honorable Chairman, House Judiciary Committee Members, and House of Representatives,
Please take “NOTICE” that Fed Up in RI stands in firm Opposition to House Bill No. 8293— and we hereby reserve all our constitutionally protected Rights by withholding our consent at this time for good cause to the passage of H-8293, and any accompanying Amendments, Joint Resolutions, and/or corresponding enactments pursuant thereto.
This proposed Bill would add the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to the growing list of state agencies and/or entities exempt from the provisions under R.I.G.L. Chapter 42-35 entitled “Administrative Procedures” for “Any and all acts, decisions, findings, or determinations made by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority and to any and all procedures or hearings before said agency under the provisions of §24-12-37 concerning review of the assessment of tolls and administrative fees.” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE42/42-35/INDEX.HTM
By purposely eliminating over-site and scrutiny of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority’s actions from ALL administrative and judicial review, makes this ‘UNELECTED’ Board of (4) who are NOT answerable to the People ‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ AND HIGHLY SUSPECT, especially when the actions of the turnpike and bridge authority involve projects adopted under the overly-broad category of “public policy and public interest”.
Therefore, Fed up in RI calls into question the legality and motive for this proposed legislation with it’s clear intent to thwart and eliminate over-site and recourse – legal or otherwise, regarding the actions of the Authority concerning review of the assessment of tolls and administrative fees.
* NOTICE * Pursuant to this Quasi-Public Corporations most recent “Accountability and Transparency” content – the following information is NOT provided;
@ 2. Compensation Comparability Study
@ 9. Regulations Adopted
Further, this Bill allows the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority – comprised of (unelected) politically appointed members, who ALL serve at the pleasure of the Governor to have the power to enter into contracts for “transportation projects” that can transfer (without the Public’s knowledge, consent, or recourse) the People’s rights for the use or control of our roads, bridges, and intelligent transportation systems associated with Rhode Islands transportation infrastructure .
Now that’s a lot of POWER in the hands of a few, especially when it’s not voter approved!
In short – passage of this legislation under the current circumstances will only contribute to the already well documented lack of transparency and highly questionable process concerning tolls employed thus far, by giving permission through this legislation to do whatever this quasi public entity wishes, without question.
Seems the only thing learned from 38 Studios… is how to write laws to provide immunity – with the purpose of evading public scrutiny.
Whereas, it is our position that this legislation resembles an ongoing pattern for the opportunity of fraud and corruption – just as it was with the EDC and 38 Studios. The only difference being, 38 Studios involved Millions – roads and bridges involve Billions! (emphasis added)
Therefore, in promoting full disclosure in an open and transparent way for lawmakers and the public alike, we request the House Judiciary Committee Members withhold your approvals by voting ‘NO’ against House Bill No.8293.
Acting individually, and on behalf of Fed Up in RI members, please consider this correspondence our “NOTICE” and written testimony for the Record in Opposition to this proposed legislation, and reservation of our right to submit additional testimony and evidence for the record, during and up to the House’s final determination on this matter.
We respectfully request that you include “Fed Up in RI’s “NOTICE” and Statement of Opposition to H-8293 be read and placed in the Permanent Record and put into the House Journal of the official file for future reference; http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H8293.pdf
Thank you for your time and consideration.
✠ LEGISLATIVE ALERT ✠
House Bill No. 8293 was put on the fast track — Introduced on 06/03/2016, and heard in committee 4 days later (06/07/2016), while many Bills submitted in February have yet to be scheduled.
In re: House Bill No. 8293
06/03/2016 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary
06/03/2016 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (06/07/2016)
✠ UPDATE ✠
Fortunately, this dangerous piece of legislation was NOT passed last evening ✔
We will monitor it’s status until the close of the session.