RI Senate passes Newport Grand bill, again

Rhode Island State House

The Rhode Island Senate reconvened in an unusual post-recess session Monday to pass casino legislation it already approved, after questions were raised about the original vote margin.

Senators met briefly to pass a bill that included the financial terms of expanded gambling at Newport Grand, if voters approve in a November referendum.

The bill was originally approved 24-2, with 12 not voting, in the early morning hours of June 21, shortly before the Senate recessed for the year. Appropriations measures need a two-thirds majority, or 26 votes.

It passed Monday 32-2, with no discussion, in a nine-minute session.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says she held the re-vote just to be safe, even though Senate legal advisers didn't think the supermajority was needed in this case.