R.I. Governor Denounces Bill to Curb His Control Over Beacon Mutual

June 23, 2006

Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri is expressing strong opposition to legislation (Senate bill 2882) that would subject his appointments to the Beacon Mutual Insurance Company board of directors to Senate advice and consent.

He is also criticizing a Senate resolution 3198 that would require the Rhode Island Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion on the propriety of subjecting the Governor’s appointments to Senate advice and consent.

The sdenate passed both measures in an evening vote, Thursday, June 23.

Carcieri maintains that the separation of powers amendment to the constitution requires that the Governor make all appointments to state boards and commissions. The Senate can only exercise advice and consent over appointments to state bodies, he says.

He has also criticized the legislation as “a veiled attempt to enable existing board members to remain on the board of directors after their appointments expire.”

Carcieri is in a battle to remove two directors of the Beacon board. The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently denied his request to stay a Superior Court ruling that prohibits him from removing Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. board members George Nee and Henry Boeninger.

The effect of the high court’s ruling is that the Governor is prohibited from removing Nee and Boeniger for now.

In the end, however, the Governor may get his way, unless the law is changed. The gubernatorial appointments, of which Nee and Boeninger are two, expire in November and the Governor is then free to name new directors to those slots under existing law.

Topics Legislation

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