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Rhode Island Speaker, Who Had Blocked Bill to Repeal Straight-Ticket Device, Resigns

On March 22, Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon D. Fox said he is resigning as Speaker. During 2013 he had single-handedly blocked a bill to repeal the straight-ticket device. HB 5072 failed to pass in 2013 even though a majority of the House membership had committed to voting for the bill. Election returns from 2012 showed that Fox would have been defeated in the 2012 general election without the votes he received from voters who used the straight-ticket device.

In the 2014 session of the legislature, bills are pending to abolish the straight-ticket device. They are SB 2091 and HB 7512. They had not made any headway yet this year. The session ends in June 2014. It is not known if these bills will now make some progress. The House is caucusing on Sunday, March 23, to choose a new speaker.

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