Citing the need to crack down on acts that contribute to public distrust of our government, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin's legislation prohibiting "pay to play" is scheduled to be heard before the House Committee on Judiciary.
H5490, sponsored by Representative Michael Marcello, creates a new section in RIGL Title 17, which would prohibit state vendors that contract, in the aggregate, annually more than $25,000 from making contributions to either political committees of the officeholder who awarded the contract or to any candidate for such office. This ban is effective for the duration of the officeholder's term or for two years after the termination or expiration of the contract, whichever is longer. Further, the act prohibits state vendors whose pending bids for state contract or whose total pending bids and contracts with the state amount to more than $25,000 from making contributions to political committees of the officeholder who awards the contract or candidate for such office.
"In these times of budgetary strain and government distrust, the citizens of Rhode Island need assurance that their government, at all levels, is working to further the public good and not line their own pockets. Rhode Island lags behind other states in updating our public corruption laws and hinders our ability to prosecute those who violate the public's trust," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
Nine states - Connecticut, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Hawaii, New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado - and the federal government all have laws prohibiting the practice of "pay to play."