Common Cause was among the first to identify the problem created by legislators sitting on the dozens of boards and commissions in Rhode Island. This dual office holding created numerous conflicts of interest and defied the basic model of government adopted by our federal government and the other 49 states. Putting separation of powers in our state constitution became our goal in the 1990s and we finally achieved it with an overwhelming margin at the polls in 2004.
Common Cause has gone to court to prevent the General Assembly from reestablishing its power over the Coastal Resource Management Council, and we we've won. Ten years later the work of separation of powers continues. Every legislative session numerous bills are introduced that would violate our new constitutional order. As we have written our work as a government watchdog continues.