R 198
2000-H 8204
Enacted 5/3/2000

H  O  U  S  E     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Representatives Martineau and Watson Date Introduced:  May 3, 2000

WHEREAS, The right and privilege of free, democratic government, to which all peoples are entitled, and which we in this state have long enjoyed, rests on a freely elected group of representatives to whom the people entrust a portion of their sovereign right of self-government, to be exercised on their behalf; and

WHEREAS, Those representatives form and constitute a body known as a legislature, which is empowered to make laws for the well-being of, and binding upon, those they represent; and

WHEREAS, The Charter granted to Rhode Island by King Charles II, dated the 8th of July 1663 provided for such a body, to be named the General Assembly, which was to have full power and authority in the governance of the colony; and

WHEREAS, The members thereof chosen pursuant to the Charter, to constitute this General Assembly, were to convene on the first Wednesday in the month of May in 1664, and to meet annually thereafter; and

WHEREAS, This present General Assembly once again convened here in the historic Colony House in Newport, this month of May 2000, has thus inherited an unbroken history of three hundred and thirty-six years since it was first constituted; and

WHEREAS, Governors and other officials elected to fill the offices of state have come and gone, and individual members of the Assembly have come and gone, the life of the General Assembly has been a continuous one, and has formed the thread of continuity for the Rhode Island body politic; and

WHEREAS, During its long life, the General Assembly has shaped and been shaped by, and has confirmed each stage of development through which the colony and state have passed during these more than three centuries; and

WHEREAS, It was the General Assembly, that on May 4th 1776, took the courageous and momentous action to cut the ties of the colony to the British crown, and then on July 20th accepted and confirmed for the state, the Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia on July 4th; now therefor be it

RESOLVED, That we the current members of the Rhode Island General Assembly, as successors to the many hundreds of members who have gone before us and who preserved for their successors the continuity and vitality of this institution, accept humbly and soberly our responsibility to carry on their work, and to preserve the heritage we have received from them, so that future generations may find us to have been worthy successors, equally dedicated to the welfare of this institution and of the state it serves; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Speaker of the House John B. Harwood.

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