Senate OKs Gallo bill requiring Senate confirmation of education commissioners, HHS and Commerce secretaries

 

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo to require appointments of the commissioners of Elementary and Secondary Education and Postsecondary Education and the secretaries of Office of Health and Human Services and Commerce to be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, just as other high-level state government appointments are. 

“The Senate serves a very important oversight role in the appointment of high-level office-holders in our state. We are the people’s voice in these matters,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick). “The education commissioners and health and commerce secretaries shape policies that impact all Rhode Islanders. Certainly they warrant at least the same level of public accountability and oversight as other department heads and leaders in our state.”

Senator Gallo indicated that the legislation is not aimed at any particular individual in any of these positions. Rather, it is a matter of good public policy because of the important nature of the positions.

Additionally, the legislation would clarify that any appointment to these offices in an acting or interim capacity must also be submitted to the Senate for approval within 10 days, even if a search for a permanent director is ongoing, as is required for other departments.

The legislation (2022-S 2402) now goes to the House of Representatives, where Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) is sponsoring companion legislation (2022-H 7586).  

 

There's a rally going on tonight in support of Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who remains detained in Russia. Her home team, the Phoenix Mercury, will call for Griner's safe return. President Biden has called the wife of Griner about her continued captivity in Russia. The call came after Cherelle Griner was critical of the White House for not hearing from Biden since Griner was detained.        The names of the seven Illinois parade victims are now out. A shooter opened fire at an Independence Day parade north of Chicago in Highland Park on Monday. That suspect is being charged with seven counts of first degree-murder.        Top Ohio Democrats running for office didn't join President Biden during his speech in Cleveland today. Congressman Tim Ryan, running for Senate, and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, running for governor, both cited "scheduling conflicts." The Washington Post claims Ohio is part of the "challenges" Democrats are facing in the upcoming midterms as Biden's polling numbers plummet.       Another interest rate hike may be on the horizon. In minutes from its June meeting, the Federal Reserve says an increase of up to three-quarters of a percentage point this month "would likely be appropriate." Officials also admitted more hikes could tamp down economic growth "for a time." However, they said returning inflation to its normal level was "critical." The nation is currently dealing with the highest inflation in four decades.       New research from Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare shows those who practice intermittent fasting have a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 complications. Doctors for the healthcare system analyzed conditions of COVID-19 patients who fasted and those who didn't. Researchers say periodic fasting has shown improved cardiovascular health benefits.        The latest offering from Marvel Studios is aiming for a big opening weekend at the domestic box office. "Thor: Love and Thunder" is expected to bring in between 145 to 155-million-dollars over the weekend. The fourth standalone Thor film will look to join movies like Jurassic World: Dominion and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which brought in the first and second most at the box office this year.