I read with great interest in the Wednesday edition of the Times the letter from Former Representative Patrick Shanley criticizing the record of District 34 Representative Teresa Tanzi. Shanley criticized Rep. Tanzi for being rather disengaged as a legislator and out of touch with her constituents. As a former representative, also from District 35 like Shanley, I take a completely opposite view of Rep. Tanzi’s engagement and her accomplishments. First of all, in her two years as representative, she was the prime sponsor on 39 bills and co-sponsor of numerous others. Of these bills 18 were passed, and among these are at least five major bills with considerable positive impact for the citizens of Narragansett and South Kingstown. For instance, in the last year at the urgent request of her South Kingstown constituents, she was able to pass a law that law that eliminated time off for good behavior in murder convictions. She has sponsored a number of bills benefiting our fishing and farming industries, both of which are of critical importance to our local economy, and she sponsored a law that improved all Rhode Islanders’ access to primary health care throughout the state. Contrary to Former Rep. Shanley’s impressions, Rep. Tanzi’s record is in fact quite robust for a freshman legislator. This is not a record of a slacker.
Michael A. Rice
Former Representative, District 35