Government

Majority Whip Edwards appointed to committees

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) has appointed House Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) to serve on the House Finance, Judiciary, Oversight and Labor committees for the 2017-18 legislative session.

“It is a tremendous honor to be serving on these important committees and I thank Speaker Mattiello for his confidence and support as we work together to address the issues we have set as priorities during this session, such as the phasing out of the auto excise tax,” said Whip Edwards.

The House Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing the governor’s proposed budget, and handles all matters relating to revenue, appropriations and taxes. The Judiciary Committee considers all bills affecting the penal code, judicial system, ethics, open meetings, access to public records and election laws.

The Oversight Committee reviews the operation and efficiency of various state departments and agencies, fulfilling the legislature’s oversight role under separation of powers. The House Labor Committee deliberates legislation relating to workers’ compensation and labor laws

Representative Edwards was unanimously re-elected to the position of House majority whip at the Democratic caucus meeting on Nov. 10.

With his 62-0 re-election, Edwards rejoins the House leadership team as its third highest ranking member. The position of whip, which has its origins in British parliamentary politics, is primarily to notify members of party policy. The word is derived from the hunting term “whipping-in.” He also acts for the majority leader on the floor in his absence.

Whip Edwards has been a strong proponent of pro-business measures in the House of Representatives, including the reduction of the minimum corporate tax and the complete elimination of the business fuel and electricity tax.

Last session, he introduced legislation to regulate online transportation providers, such as Uber, which was signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

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