Rep. Michael J. Marcello (D-Dist. 41, Scituate, Cranston) has been named the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
The appointment was announced this week by Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox.
Representative Marcello is serving his third term in the House of Representatives. He had been a member of the Oversight Committee during the previous General Assembly session, when he also served as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary.
The Committee on Oversight reviews the operation and efficiency of various state departments and agencies, fulfilling the legislature’s oversight role following implementation of separation of powers.
“Rhode Island made the correct move some years ago when it approved a separation of powers constitutional amendment, to remove legislators from various boards and commissions,” said Representative Marcello, who has championed ethics and open government issues during his legislative career. “But the legislature cannot and will not ignore its role to ensure that all entities functioning in the name of that state are functioning properly and efficiently. Our citizens deserve good, open, honest government. The Oversight Committee plays a vital role in regard to the necessary checks and balances.”
“I am gratified and honored that the Speaker has asked me to chair this important committee and I look forward to a busy and productive session, and to making sure government is working well and is committed to transparency and accessibility,” he said.
In addition to chairing the Oversight Committee, Representative Marcello will remain as a member of the Committee on Judiciary. He will also serve as a member of the House Committee on Rules.
Representative Marcello was elected to the House in November, 2008, after serving on the Scituate Town Council for eight years. An attorney, he received a BA from Colby College and his Juris Doctorate from American University’s Washington College of Law.
In 2012, legislation he sponsored led to changes in the state’s Access to Public Records Act, the first significant update in the open meetings law in a decade, ensuring more and easier public access to records. While in the House, he has also introduced bills regarding elections, pensions, political contributions and other open government issues.