A Hummel Report Investigation
This week 16 new members of the Rhode Island General Assembly were sworn in along with returning lawmakers - four in the Senate and 12 in the House, arriving from all walks of life and varying political philosophies. Jim Hummel sat down with four of the freshmen to get a sense of why they ran and the issues that are important to them and their new constituents.
The first day of a General Assembly session is much like the start of baseball’s spring training.
The veterans catch up with each other about how their off-seasond went and welcome new players who are still getting the lay of the land.
On Tuesday, 16 new lawmakers were sworn into The Rhode Island General Assembly - four in the Senate and 12 in the House. They come from all walks of life and varying political philosophies.
The Hummel Report sat down last week with four of the freshmen to get a sense of why they ran and the issues that are important to them.
They include Representatives Julie Casimiro of North Kingstown, Jason Knight of Barrington and Robert Quattrochi of Scituate - and Senator Jeanine Calkin of Warwick.
The new legislators arrive after a bumpy political year in 2016 that saw House Finance Chairman Raymond Gallison resign under the cloud of a federal investigation and another top member of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s leadership team embroiled in a residency scandal.
Casimiro: ``I think now that there’s been a few bumps in the road, I think everybody knows the public is watching so I think It’s going to be different.’’
Representative Casimiro, a Democrat, lost a close race two years ago to Republican Doreen Costa. Costa decided in June not to run for a 4th term and Casimiro, who worked in the corporate world for 35 years before taking several jobs in the social services sector, won easily in November against a Republican opponent from Exeter.
Hummel: ``What did you hear when you were out on the campaign trail?’’
Casimiro: ``Believe it or not I did not hear anything about truck tolls. That come up maybe twice.’’
Hummel: ``Did that surprise you?’’
Casimiro: ``Yes. It came up maybe twice on the campaign trail. I heard a lot about the grants, legislative grants and the issues around that. People just wanted to know where I stood on things.’’