Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rhode Island Senate Passes House-Amended, April Presidential Primary Bill

The Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday, June 28, passed by a vote of 34-2 a measure to shift the Ocean state's presidential primary from the first Tuesday in March to the fourth Tuesday in April. S 399 originated in the state Senate and was passed in April with no provision addressing the scheduling of the presidential primary. The House added that amendment to the bill and passed the package last week. Initially, the legislation was on the calendar for a vote on Wednesday, but with time running out in a legislative session due to adjourn at the end of the month on Thursday, the Senate got to it early.

S 399 now heads to Governor Lincoln Chaffee (I) for his consideration. The move would place the Rhode Island primary on the same date as the presidential primary in Pennsylvania next year. Legislation has already been passed in both Connecticut and New York to move those states' primaries to April 24 as well. Legislation eying the same date is also active in Delaware. Together, the moves would set up a five state regional primary in late April.

Hat tip to Philip Marcello at the Providence Journal for bringing news of the early vote to FHQ's attention.

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