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Saturday, March 19, 2022

How can we miss you when you won’t go away?

Former Speaker Mattiello returns to the RI State House… as a Lobbyist

By Steve Ahlquist in UpRiseRI

Former Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello returned to the the Rhode Island State House on March 9 for the first time in a “year plus.” 

The former Speaker, who represented House District 15 in Cranston, was soundly defeated by his Republican challenger Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung in 2020. 

After waiting a year, as the law mandates, Mattiello registered as a lobbyist with Westminster Consulting Ltd, and collected clients such as Lifespan, The Providence Journal, and RIALA (Rhode Island Assisted Living Association).

“Mr Chairman, members of the committee, it’s a pleasure for me to be here. It’s been just about a year plus since I’ve been in the building so it’s really nice to see all of you and to be in such nice surroundings,” said Lobbyist Mattiello before addressing the substance of the bill.

Here’s the video:

The former Speaker is handsomely paid his work: 

The reason for the Mattiello’s return was to advocate on behalf of RIALA for House Bill No. 7502, introduced by Representatives Joseph McNamara and Mia Ackerman, close allies to Mattiello during his days in charge of the House. 

Upon passage, the bill requires the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) to establish an informal dispute resolution (IDR) process to address any challenges to DOH inspections. 

The bill seeks to avoid the costly provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act by allowing for an informal way for licensed assisted living facilities and the DOH to informally mediate disputes over enforcement of various codes, ordinances and rules.

It’s not a very sexy bill.

RIALAH is a trade association, a “not-for-profit membership organization that serves assisted livings, senior living vendors, and professionals.”

In monetizing his extensive State House contacts and political clout as a lobbyist, Mattiello joins his mentor, former Speaker William Murphy, a well paid lobbyist in his own right.