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Gov. Raimondo expands plate and home checks to all out-of-staters, takes jab at Cuomo

Gov. Gina Raimondo has expanded the check of license plates and home checks from just New Yorkers to all-out-of-staters. (WJAR)
Gov. Gina Raimondo has expanded the check of license plates and home checks from just New Yorkers to all-out-of-staters. (WJAR)
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Gov. Gina Raimondo has expanded the check of license plates and home checks from just New Yorkers to all-out-of-staters.

Raimondo signed the executive order Saturday that expanded the policy.

"All out-of-state passenger vehicles will be required to stop at one of the information centers on the highway and secondary roads," said Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Col. James Manni.

The colonel emphasized that this does not apply to commercial vehicles.

Manni said that they have checkpoints set up at the information center on Interstate 95 north in Richmond, the weigh station on Interstate 95 north in Exeter, Route 138 east to the Newport Bridge, and Routes 1 and 78 in Westerly.

He said signage will be directing out-of-state drivers to the closest check point.

From there, each driver will be greeted by a National Guard member. If they are traveling through Rhode Island, they will be let go.

If they are staying in Rhode Island, Manni said the National Guard member will inform them they must quarantine for 14 days and their contact information will be taken down and transferred to the state Department of Health and that they will likely have no contact with state police.

"We are very hopeful that the people follow these directions and will voluntarily stop at the information stations," said Manni.

The colonel said those who do not stop will be pulled over by state police and will be instructed to stop at the next closest check point.

"We have clear legal authority to direct drivers to these information stations," said Manni. "The procedure we have in place does not violate anyone's constitutional rights."

Manni added that the home checks will continue and is also expanded to all out-of-staters.

He said they are still determining which communities they will focus those check-ins.

The announcement comes a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue Rhode Island over its policy of stopping New Yorkers.

Prior to Raimondo's news briefing Sunday, Cuomo said he spoke to Raimondo Saturday.

"I spoke to the governor of Rhode Island yesterday, and we had a conversation," said Cuomo. "I don't think the order was called for. I don't believe it was legal. I don't think it was neighborly. I understood the point, but I thought there were different ways to do it and the governor of Rhode Island was very receptive and I thank her very much for reconsidering her position."

That was followed by a tweet he sent out that said, "Rhode Island will no longer be stopping New Yorkers at their border," which has been deleted.

Sunday, Raimondo acknowledged she did speak to Cuomo, but had a different take.

"I did talk to the governor of New York yesterday. It was after I had already taken my action and we chatted about it," said Raimondo. "If he feels its important for him to take credit, go ahead I'm going to keep working here to keep Rhode Islanders safe."

A few moments later she said, "I think it's odd that Governor Cuomo is focused on this sort of politics at a time we are fighting disasters."

Friday, Rhode Island State Police had a checkpoint setup for drivers with New York plates.

The next day police, along with National Guard in coastal communities started home check with cars in driveways that had New York plates.

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