PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – New proposed changes in Rhode Island’s state Senate could consolidate power with the Senate president and prevent a filibuster from ever happening again.
The Providence Journal reports the rule changes announced Thursday would give the Senate president power to remove senators from committees, limit floor speeches to five minutes and give the public 24 hours to review rewritten legislation before a vote.
Senate President spokesman Greg Pare says the proposed changes would incorporate longstanding proceedings.
State Sen. Sam Bell says the new rules bill is a “shameless power grab.” He says the rules are an attempt “to legalize the worst kind of retribution and political bullying.”
The state House of Representatives passed similar rule changes last month after members spoke against the leadership’s control over the legislative process.