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Irons Signals Close Ties to Gov. Carcieri (posted December 1, 2002)

Rhode Island Senate President-elect William Irons signaled that he expects a close relationship with Governor-elect Don Carcieri. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference" with Bill Rappleye, Irons said he planned to "work very cooperatively" with the new chief executive. "He shares my interest in economic development," Irons noted, and Carcieri has vision and energy.

If the two develop a close relationship, it would have a dramatic impact on the functioning of state government. In the past, the House Speaker often has dominated state decisions because of weak powers associated with the governorship. Should Irons and Carcieri find a symmetry of interests, it would help each of them gain new leverage over Rhode Island policy decisions, and allow Governor-elect Carcieri to become more influential than many of his predecessors have been.

Speaking about the upcoming session of the General Assembly, Irons said that number one goal of the legislature is to "rebuild the trust of the people," which he said had been "seriously damaged" in the 2002 election. "Sometimes out of bad times come good moments," Irons predicted.

Irons said he planned to create a new committee structure that would propose separate committees for health and education, which he described as two of the most pressing issues facing the state. He also defended "separate operating structures for the two institutions" of the House and Senate. He complained that former House Speaker John Harwood had unfair control over Senate operations and there needed to be a new operating structure that would allow the Senate to control its own budget and personnel.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services