Blogs | Ethan Shorey

We're getting a good idea of how things work

It seems like Rhode Islanders are getting an unprecedented look this year at the way things are run behind the scenes at the General Assembly.

The prime example of this was clearly the truck toll bill, which passed at high speed despite loud protests and led to the unceremonious demotion of key figures who voted against it.

There have been many examples since.

Just this week, I wrote a story about Sen. Frank Ciccone and his controversial tree trimming bill. The story is a clear indicator of three key ideas:

• That it doesn't take many complaints to get a bill proposed and passed.

• That many lawmakers don't ask questions even on bills that could have a significant impact on residents.

• And that at least some legislators aren't doing the writing of the bills, but are simply sharing their ideas with attorneys to then put it down on paper.

Then there's the story of the lost funding for flooding issues on Eliot Avenue in North Providence, showing that even when there's a lot of backroom wheeling and dealing going on, a lack of communication can derail a good initiative.

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