House passes Rep. Barros’ resolution asking municipalities to create oversight commissions for incoming COVID-19 federal funds


STATE HOUSE – The House passed Rep. Jean Philippe Barros’ (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket) resolution (2021-H 6125A) which would ask Rhode Island’s municipalities to create five-member commissions to oversee the distribution of incoming federal COVID-19 funds. 

The purpose of the commissions would be to ensure that the money received by municipalities is administered wisely, fairly, honestly and with transparency.

“With a very large influx of federal dollars coming to our municipalities soon, it is imperative that the public knows how this money is being spent and how it will help their community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  This resolution is about transparency, accountability, and equality and its purpose is to guarantee that the incoming federal relief funds for municipalities are used in the fairest and most equitable manner.  Each Rhode Island municipality has different needs for their recovery which is why this legislation calls for them to institute these oversight commissions rather than the state,” said Representative Barros.

The resolution asks each of Rhode Island’s municipalities to create a five-member commission appointed by each city or town’s chief executive officer that would be responsible for oversight to ensure accountability and transparency and to guarantee that the entire process is completely open to the public and members of the media. Each local commission would consists of five members, one of whom to be a mayor or CEO of a city or town, two of whom to be members of city and town councils, and two members of the Rhode Island general public.



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