2007 -- H 6151
H O U S E †R E S O L U T I O N
CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY WATER USE, SUPPLY
AND DISTRIBUTION IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
Introduced By: Representatives Fox, Sullivan, Ginaitt, Brien, and Kilmartin
Date Introduced: March 13, 2007
RESOLVED, That a special House commission be and the same is hereby created
consisting of nine (9) members: nine (9) of whom shall be members of the House of
Representatives, not more than seven (7) from the same political party, to be appointed by the
Speaker of the House.
In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory
commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a General Assembly
resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu
of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which
is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.
The purpose of said commission shall be to make a comprehensive study of water use,
supply and distribution including, but not limited to, the following:
The economic impact of low water supply levels on the business community; and
The economic impact of expanding current state water supplies; and
The feasibility and desirability of consolidating multiple state water districts and
agencies into one central entity or agency; and
The potential sale of the Providence Water Supply system to the state or an independent
The goals of long range planning and short-term needs of the stateís water distribution
The maintenance and improvement of the highest quality of water and the impact this
goal will have on the environment and on native aquatic animal and plant species; and
The use of conservation efforts and the impact thereof on the stateís water supply; and
Any other issues that may arise during the course of the commissionís study.
Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the Speaker of the House shall appoint a
chairperson. The chairperson shall call the organizational meeting of the commission, and the
members shall select a vice-chairperson and a secretary. Vacancies in said commission shall be
filled in like manner as the original appointment.
The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but
the commission shall be allowed reimbursement for expenditures reasonably necessary to
accomplish its goals.
All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or
desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
Each member of the commission is hereby authorized and empowered to administer
oaths; and the commission, in all cases of every nature pending before it, is hereby authorized and
empowered to summon and examine witnesses and to compel the production and examination of
papers, books, accounts, documents, records, certificates, and other legal evidence that may be
necessary or proper for the determination and decision of any question before the discharge of
any duty required by law of the commission. All subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum shall be
signed by the chairperson, and shall be served as subpoenas are served in civil cases in the
superior court. If any person fails to obey the command of the subpoena, without reasonable
cause, or if a person in attendance before the commission shall, without reasonable cause, refuse
to be sworn, or to be examined, or to order returnable in not less than two (2) nor more than (5)
days, directing the person to show cause why he or she should not be adjudged in contempt, the
commission may punish any contempt of its authority in like manner as contempt may be
punished by any court. Any person who shall willfully swear falsely in any proceeding, matter,
or hearing before the commission shall be guilty of a felony.
The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters
for said commission; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
House of Representatives no later than February 5, 2008 and said commission shall expire on July