R.I. House Republicans Seek to Restore the Rule of Law and Representative Government
State House, Providence, RI – As Governor McKee’s onerous vaccine and mask mandates in Executive Order 21-116 go into effect today, House Republicans issue the following plan of action:
“These latest mandates are harmful to individual privacy and our struggling businesses. While some may differ about whether these mandates are good policy, it is indisputable that such mandates must be made under clear legal authority.
That legal authority no longer exists because in June, 2021, the General Assembly limited the Governor’s emergency powers to 180-days, which only the General Assembly may extend (RIGL § 30-15-9(g)).
Rather than seek General Assembly permission to extend his emergency powers, Governor McKee cynically attempted to bypass the 180-day law by declaring a “new” state of emergency over the Delta Variant. A COVID-19 variant, by its nature, is not a “new” emergency. It remains the same pandemic we’ve dealt with for nearly two years.
Governor McKee’s move to skirt the General Assembly’s required oversight and approval violates the spirit and letter of the 180-day law. Since it is clear that Governor McKee cannot lawfully issue these mask and vaccine mandates without General Assembly oversight and authorization, House Republicans will submit legislation to further nullify these mandates, unless and until the Governor seeks and obtains the General Assembly’s lawful approval for his continued use of emergency powers.
For too long during this pandemic the General Assembly disregarded its responsibilities and our system of checks and balances - until June, 2021, when it wisely limited the Governor’s emergency powers to 180-days. We call on our colleagues to go on the record regarding the Governor’s willful disregard of this law we just passed to impose harmful mandates on our residents and businesses.”
The Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Office Membership (Republican) is comprised of the following representatives who were elected by constituents who live in districts throughout the Ocean State: Minority Leader, Blake Filippi, District 36 (Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly, New Shoreham); Minority Whip, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Deputy Minority Leader George Nardone, District 28 (Coventry); Representative Brian Newberry, District 48 (North Smithfield, Burrillville); Deputy Minority Leader David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Representative Justin Price, District 39 (Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond); Deputy Minority Whip Robert Quattrocchi, District 41 (Scituate, Cranston); Senior Deputy Leader Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich). For more information, please visit our website at www.rihousegop.org
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