Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
Home buttonMenu item seperator graphicBiography buttonMenu item seperator graphicAccomplishments buttonMenu item seperator graphicContacts buttonMenu item seperator graphicPress releases and speeches buttonMenu item seperator graphicTransmittal messages buttonMenu item seperator graphicExecutive orders buttonMenu item seperator graphicPhotos button
  2002 Signature
2002 Veto
2002 No Action

2001 Veto
2001 No Action

2000 Signature
2000 Veto
2000 No Action

1999 Signature
1999 Veto

1998 Signature
1998 Veto
1998 No Action

1997 Signature
1997 Veto

1996 Signature
1996 Veto

1995 Signature
1995 Veto
1995 No Action

July 11, 2001


I am transmitting herewith, without my signature, 2001-S 1026, "An Act to Incorporate the Partnership for Rhode Island Marine Event Development."

This bill creates and incorporates the above-named entity for the stated purpose of attracting, promoting, expanding and developing marine events of national and international significance as a vehicle to expand boating, boat building, outfitting, tourism and related industries, to create jobs in these industries, and to foster public awareness and participation in marine events. The board of directors of the corporation consists of fifteen members: eight sitting legislators, four members appointed by the legislature and three members appointed by the Governor. The corporation, among other powers, possesses the power to make contracts, incur liabilities and borrow money, and to sue and be sued: all in its corporate name. The corporation does not appear to be an instrumentality of State government and appears to be a private non-profit corporation. The corporation receives no state money in the Act.

The creation of such a corporation is a good idea. Rhode Island continues to attract significant marine events. Last year, we hosted the Newport Bermuda Race, Europe One Two Man Star, Tall Ships 2000, J-24 World Championships, and the Newport International Boat Show. With world-renowned Newport and our beautiful Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island is positioned to do even better, especially in our quest to return the America's Cup races to Newport. This corporation, working with state entities, can assist in that endeavor.

The problem I have with this bill is the mandated omni-presence of sitting legislators and legislative appointees on this private corporation. The proper role of legislators in a three branch government is to pass laws, not carry them out or to sit on the boards in charge of executing the laws. In 1998, I was forced to veto a bill creating a state cancer council (with six of nine members General Assembly appointees) which would have exercised broad executive powers in state government {e.g., to amend the statewide cancer plan; and grant loans with state funds 10 private and public groups). That council was also to receive $250,000 in state funding. While I remain concerned with the legislative domination on this corporation, the corporation does not appear to exercise state power and most importantly is not funded with state tax dollars. There is no state funding for the corporation in the bill or the state budget. With no state funding at its inception and assurance that the corporation intends to fund itself through private grants, donations, sponsorships, fees, and revenue generating activities, I expect no State funding in the future. Moreover, I have been advised that the bill's provision to allow the corporation to pay salaries to its officers (potentially General Assembly members) was an unintended oversight, and in any event, any salaries would not be paid with state dollars since none have been appropriated. If this were otherwise, I would be forced 10 veto this legislation on separation of powers grounds.

For all of these reasons, I have allowed this bill to become law without my signature.


Lincoln Almond