Republican Steven Frias, who ran a close race against Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, District 15, Cranston) last election, issued a not-so-subtle warning to his opponent at the Senate Finance Committee meeting about the PawSox legislation.
“You know, I can tell you that when I walk through my neighborhood and talk to people about this, I got a good sample,” said Frias at the close of his remarks about the two pieces of legislation concerning the PawSox under consideration. “It’s about two to one in my area, against.”
Frias was letting the Speaker know two things with this statement: That the legislation is unpopular in his district, and that Frias is talking to the Speaker’s constituents, possibly ahead of a second run aginst the Speaker in the Fall.
Mattiello spoke to reporters about Frias’ remarks and the PawSox legislation more generally during Wednesday’s tour of William M Davies Jr Career and Technical High School.
“I would agree that it’s probably two to one in opposition in my district but I wouldn’t say most of [the opposition] is from my district,” said Mattiello. “I talk to all my colleagues and they’re all saying exactly the same thing. The opposition is the same in just about every district across the state of Rhode Island. So it’s not unique or isolated to the City of Cranston. It is the same everywhere from what my colleagues are telling me.
“Myself, as well as my colleagues, are listening closely to our constituents and we’re going to try to reflect their will and what they want us to do.”
Mattiello also said that the legislation, passed out of Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday, will get a “full hearing” in committee, but whether it gets a vote on the floor “depends on how the hearing goes and what the public wants.
“We’re going to reflect the public’s will and do what the public wants us to do,” said Mattiello. “as best as we can read and understand the public’s will. It’s not a perfect science, but we’re listening as closely as we can.”
Mattiello also said that there is no timeline on when the PawSox bills might be taken up in committee.
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