FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Filippi presents bill to guarantee taxpayers the right to sue government for unlawful use of tax dollars
STATE HOUSE – Representative Blake Filippi (I-Dist. 36; Block Island, Charlestown, South Kingstown and Westerly) testified before the House Judiciary Committee on January 27th regarding legislation (2016-H 7169) that proposes a constitutional amendment to empower the people of Rhode Island to sue the government over unlawful spending.
“Unfortunately, R.I. and Federal case law generally prohibits the people from contesting the legality of government spending,” said Filippi. “Hard-working Rhode Island families dutifully pay their taxes. Then, if the government unlawfully spends their money, they can’t sue. That is unfair and needs to change. It is the people’s money and they should have the right to bring an action when it is spent unlawfully,” said Filippi.
“We must amend our Constitution to effectuate this reform,” explained Filippi. “This particular legal topic is complex and changing our Constitution must be approached cautiously. However, providing Rhode Islanders with this legal right will ensure the people have recourse if their money is unlawfully spent. This change will act as a needed oversight mechanism by the people over their government.”
Co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Sherry Roberts (R-District 29, Coventry, West Greenwich), Rep. Justin K. Price (R-District 39, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond), Rep. Anthony Giarrusso (R-District 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-District 26, Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick).
Louise L. Tetreault
Senior Policy Analyst
State House of Representatives
House Minority Office
82 Smith Street, Room 106
Providence, RI 02903