2000-S 2215 am
Enacted 7/20/2000

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Introduced By:  Senator J. Michael Lenihan Date Introduced:  February 2, 2000

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Title 42 of the General Laws entitled "State Affairs and Government" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:


42-131-1. Creation of council. There is hereby created and established an Intergovernmental Relations Council of Rhode Island hereinafter referred to as "the Council." The legislative authority for the Council shall cease as of June 30, 2005, unless said Council is continued under the provisions of said chapter.

42-131-2. Membership of council. (a) The Council shall be composed of twenty-four (24) members as follows:

(1) the Lieutenant Governor;

(2) the Majority Leader of the Senate or his or her designee;

(3) the Speaker of the House or his or her designee;

(4) the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives or his or her designee;

(5) the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives or his or her designee;

(6) the Minority Leader of the Senate or his or her designee;

(7) the Chairman of the House Finance Committee or his or her designee;

(8) the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee or his or her designee;

(9) three (3) state executive branch officials appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be the chief of the office of municipal affairs in the department of administration;

(10) three (3) city and/or town officials appointed by the president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns;

(11) the executive director of the League of Cities and Towns;

(12) two (2) members of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, one of whom shall be the executive director of said council and one (1) of whom shall be appointed by the President of said Council;

(13) two (2) members appointed by the President of the Rhode Island School Committee Association;

(14) the Mayor of the city of Providence or his or her designee;

(15) the president of the Providence City Council or his or her designee; and

(16) four (4) members being representatives of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation.

(b) Members of the Council shall hold office for three (3) years. Should any member cease to be an officer or employee of the unit or agency he is appointed to represent, his membership on the Council shall terminate immediately. Any vacancy on the Council shall be filled for the unexpired term by the appointing authority in the same manner as the original appointment.

(c) The lieutenant governor shall serve as chairperson and the vice chairperson of the Council shall be designated by the governor from among the members. In the event of the absence or disability of both the chairperson and vice chairperson, the members of the Council shall elect a temporary chairperson by a majority vote of those present and voting.

(d) The Council shall be subject to review by the General Assembly's legislative oversight commission as defined in chapter 14 of title 22.

(17)the President of the Senate effective January 1, 2003.

42-131-3. Purpose and duties. The purpose of the Council shall be to provide a forum to discuss intergovernmental issues between federal, state and local government and the private sector and to develop specific and comprehensive recommendations for executive and legislative action as may be necessary and proper to maintain and encourage improvements in intergovernmental relations. To enable the Council to carry out that purpose, the Council shall study the following matters and any others it deems appropriate:

(a) The existing, necessary, and desirable relationships between and among local governments, the state and the private sector;

(b) The existing, necessary, and desirable allocation of state and local functional responsibilities and fiscal resources, such as manner in which the state delivers services to local communities and the powers and functions of local governments;

(c) The impact of federal aid programs in terms of their compatibility with state and local objectives and their fiscal and administrative impact on programs;

(d)The impact of federal or state judicial decisions, and/or existing or proposed federal, state, legislative or executive policies and regulations upon the capacities and effectiveness of local government;

(e) The special problems in interstate areas facing local governments, intrastate regional units, and area-wide bodies, such studies where possible to be conducted in conjunction with those of a pertinent sister state commission(s);

(f) Ways and means to foster better relations among local, state and federal governments, and between government and the private sector;

(g) Encourage, and where appropriate, coordinate studies relating to intergovernmental relations conducted by universities, state, local and federal agencies, and research and consulting organizations;

(h) Review the recommendations of national commissions studying private sector, federal, state and local government relationships and issues and assess their possible application to Rhode Island;

(i) Provide opportunities for state and local government officials and members of the private sector to become more knowledgeable about their shared duties and responsibilities to deliver effective services, such as conducting educational seminars and informational conferences on selected intergovernmental and state and local issues, including potential areas of interstate, state-local and private-public partnerships; and

(j) Review and propose any constitutional amendments and statutory changes required to implement proposals of the commission.

42-131-4. Meetings, hearings, committees. (a) The Council shall hold meetings quarterly and at such other times as it deems necessary. The Council may hold public hearings from time-to-time on matters within its purview.

(b) Each officer, board, commission, council, department or agency of state government, and each political subdivision of the state, shall cooperate with the Council in carrying out the functions and duties imposed by this chapter.

(c) The Council may establish committees as it deems advisable and feasible, whose membership shall include at least one member of the Council, but only the Council itself may set policy or take other official action.

(d) The Council shall promulgate rules of procedure governing its operations.

(e) All meetings of the Council, or any committee thereof, at which public business is discussed or formal action is taken shall conform to the state open meetings laws.

42-131-5. Technical advisory committee. A technical advisory committee shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Council. The technical advisory committee shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of the office of municipal affairs in the department of administration, statewide planning, the general assembly, the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, and the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns.

42-131-6. Reports. The Council shall issue reports of its findings and recommendations from time-to time and issue annually a public report on its work. Copies of the annual report shall be submitted to the governor, presiding officers of the general assembly, each city and town of the state, and appropriate state departments and agencies regarding the Council's work, including draft legislation and model ordinances necessary to implement its recommendations. Reports of the Council shall be available to the public.

SECTION 2. Severability. If any provision or item of this Act or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items or applications, and to this end the provisions of the Act are hereby declared severable.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.

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