Senate passes McCaffrey legislation to fill vacancies in attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state


STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) that would establish a procedure for filling vacancies in the offices of secretary of state, attorney general and general treasurer.

The joint resolution (2021-S 0015) would ask Rhode Island voters to amend the state constitution, allowing for a special election when vacancies occur in those positions, as long as there is more than one year remaining in the term. For situations where there is less than one year left to a term, the General Assembly would elect a replacement in grand committee.

“As it stands now, the General Assembly picks a replacement when a vacancy occurs in the office of secretary of state, general treasurer or attorney general,” said Senator McCaffrey. “This bill takes power away from the Grand Committee, which is a relic of the past, and puts it in the hands of the voters. If there is more than a year left in the term, there is plenty of time to call a special election and let the people decide who they want in these offices.”

The Senate also passed a bill (2021-S 0057) that would enact the change, pending approval by the voters.

The measures now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.



For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at



Remember Bid on the Phone but watch here:  LIVE on O-N TV