Rhode Island lawmakers begin bill-voting frenzy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island state lawmakers are working to pass dozens of bills in the final days before they adjourn for the year.

The legislation includes union-backed measures to extend public employee labor contract agreements after they’ve expired, and to allow firefighters and police officers to get disability insurance if they have an illness.

The Democratic-controlled state House of Representatives has suspended many of its procedural rules as it tries to rush to a close, allowing bills to move from committees to the House floor with little public notice.

Republican House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, an opponent of some of the union-backed bills, is critical of the process, saying lawmakers try to “do this stuff at the very end of the session so that nobody can get momentum to fight it.”

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