The Rhode Island State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information on Rhode Island's constitutionally mandated Nov. 5, 2024 constitutional convention referendum, including news, opinion, and history

Constitutional conventions. — The general assembly, by a vote of a majority of the members elected to each house, may at any general election submit the question, “Shall there be a convention to amend or revise the constitution?” to the qualified electors of the state. If the question be not submitted to the people at some time during any period of ten years, the secretary of state shall submit it at the next general election following said period. Prior to a vote by the qualified electors on the holding of a convention, the general assembly, or the governor if the general assembly fails to act, shall provide for a bi-partisan preparatory commission to assemble information on constitutional questions for the electors. If a majority of the electors voting at such election on said question shall vote to hold a convention, the general assembly at its next session shall provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention. The number of delegates shall be equal to the number of members of the house of representatives and shall be apportioned in the same manner as the members of the house of representatives. No revision or amendment of this constitution agreed upon by such convention shall take effect until the same has been submitted to the electors and approved by a majority of those voting thereon.

--Rhode Island's Constitution, Article XIV, Section 2

The Three Popular Votes Required For The Constitutional Convention Process To Cause Change

News

Will RI vote for a Constitutional Convention in 2024?, Providence Journal, Jan. 9, 2023.

Frazier, Kevin, Vote Yes for a Constitutional Convention (for Rhode Island), Democracy Paradox, Jan. 9, 2023.

 

Government Milestones

November 5, 2024.  The referendum on whether to convene a constitutional convention.

October 1, 2024.  Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the date the Secretary of State is expected to announce the release of the 2024 Voter Information Handbook.

September 3, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the date Rhode Island’s constitutionally mandated Bi-Partisan Preparatory Commission is expected to release its Report.

August 26, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the expected date of the fifth and final meeting of the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission.

August 25, 2024.  Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the Secretary of State’s expected deadline for the the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission Report to provide it with its report so it can be incorporated in the Voter Information Handbook.

August 21, 2024.  Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the expected date of the Fourth meeting of the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission.

August 19, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the expected date of the Third meeting of the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission.

August, 7, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the expected date of the second meeting and first public hearing of the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission.

July 31, 2024.  Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the expected date of the first meeting of the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission to Assemble Information on Constitutional Convention Questions in Preparation for a Vote by the Qualified Electors on the Holding of a Constitutional Convention in Accordance with Article XIV,  Section 2 of the Rhode Island Constitution.

July 30, 2024.  In 2014, the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission was to report its findings to the public by July 30. With no adverse consequences, the deadline was not met.

July 29, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the date the Rhode Island General Assembly is expected to post on its website the names of the remaining two Bi-Partisan Preparatory Commission members and post the public notice of its first public meeting (on July 31).  The law dictates that 48 hours public notice is necessary before holding such a public meeting.

July 24, 2024. Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the date the Bi-partisan Preparatory Commission is expected to post on its website the first 10 of 12 members appointed to the Bi-Partisan Preparatory Commission.

July 10, 2024.  Based on the last convention referendum in 2014, the date campaign finance reports are due to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

 

Constitutionally Required General Assembly Resolutions in 2014

Note: the resolution dates weren’t mandatory.

 

June 30, 2014.  Joint Resolution 8061 signed by the Governor.

June 23, 2014.  Joint Resolution 2537 signed by the Governor.

June 11, 2014.  Joint Resolutions 25388060 and 8061 passed by the General Assembly.

June 18, 2014.  Joint Resolutions 2538 and 8060 signed by the Governor.

April 29, 2014.  Hearing to consider proposed constitutional amendments that could serve as the basis of the Preparatory Commission.

April 16, 2014. Joint Resolution 8061 (creating a bipartisan preparatory commission) introduced in the Rhode Island House.

February 27, 2014.  Joint Resolutions 2537  (creating a bipartisan preparatory commission) and 2538 (placing the constitutional convention referendum on the ballot) introduced in the Rhode Island Senate.

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