Paiva Weed says Senate may come back to tackle EDC boardJune 11th, 2012 at 3:45 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed says her chamber may not take up Governor Chafee’s nominees to the troubled R.I. Economic Development Corporation board before lawmakers leave Smith Hill this week.
“I think we may have to come back,” Paiva Weed told WPRI.com. “That’s the way it’s looking.” She said the governor has been sending a significant number of appointments to the Senate in the waning days of the session.
Lawmakers are hoping to adjourn as soon as Tuesday, but confirmation hearings haven’t been scheduled for any of the six EDC nominees Chafee has put forward in the wake of the 38 Studios debacle: Marcia Blount, Pablo Rodriguez, Roland Fiore, Stephen Hardy, William Holmes and Peter Crowley.
The EDC board has 12 members in addition to the governor, who serves as chairman but only votes to break ties. The board has a number of major issues to take up in the coming months, including the runway expansion at T.F. Green Airport and dredging the port at Quonset Point.
Failure to confirm Chafee’s nominees would not necessarily cripple the EDC board, however. State law says “a majority of directors holding office shall constitute a quorum,” and that a vacancy “shall not impair the right of a quorum to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties of the corporation.”
As The Providence Journal first reported, Paiva Weed opted to move the EDC nominations through the Senate Judiciary Committee instead of the Senate Corporations Committee, which considered and approved his previous slate of candidates last year.