With the recent resignation of Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox sending the General Assembly into a whirlwind of change, Bristol resident, Representative Raymond Gallison (D-69) was named chairman of the House Finance Committee. That announcement was made soon after the House went into session at 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
With the resignation of former chairman, Ilio Melo, it was Rep. Gallison who chaired Tuesday night’s budget hearing with the Department of Education.
After learning that Mr. Fox had been served with a search warrant for his State House office and home of Friday morning, Rep. Gallison said that the “battle for Speaker of the House” began as soon as Mr. Fox resigned.
On Monday, Rep. Gallison said, Nicholas Mattiello, who was subsequently named Speaker of the House, called him.
“We talked about it,” Mr. Gallison said of the situation at the State House. “This is one appointment that you can’t let languish,” he said of the Finance Committee chairmanship.
Gallison, a 14 year veteran of the House of Representatives, supported Mr. Mattiello to become the next Speaker of the House. On Monday, House Majotiry Leader, John DeSimone, also placed a call to Mr. Gallison.
“He asked me if I would be interested in taking the chairman seat,” Mr. Gallison said.
Without hesitation, he expressed his interest.
“It’s a big process,” Mr. Gallison said of the changes currently taking place at the State House. “My goal will be to watch what we take in and what we spend,” he said of chairing the 12 person committee.
As representative for District 69, which includes Bristol and Portsmouth, Mr. Gallison is most satisfied that he helped defend the area from Hess’s LNG proposal that would have a negative impact on Mt. Hope Bay, his involvement in putting into motion a new Rhode Island Veteran’s Home in Bristol, and the reconstruction of the Mt. Hope boat ramp.
“It’s been a whirlwind weekend,” he said. “They told me to pack up and move upstairs to the other office.”