NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, the council for a popular Rhode Island beach town is planning to vote on a resolution that would allow local law enforcement to openly ignore the state's coronavirus restrictions.
Narragansett Town Council President Matthew Mannix proposed the resolution, which says the state's Coronavirus-related Executive Orders have "imposed substantial harm to the emotional, spiritual and financial well-being of its residents."
Mannix's resolution would authorize the Narragansett Police Department and other Narragansett law enforcement entities "to not enforce the State of Rhode Island’s Coronavirus-related Executive Orders," including at "places of worship, restaurants, retail establishments and other small businesses."
The filing says the first phase of Gov. Raimondo's reopening plan, which began on May 9th, would include "many cumbersome restrictions on places of worship, restaurants, retail establishments and other small businesses."
It also says the restrictions, meant to slow the spread of the virus, have had a "negative impact.... on the First Amendment right to worship, on the constitutionally recognized right to travel and on our free enterprise economy."
On Friday, Gov. Raimondo warned that the proposal was a “huge mistake” and is not based on science or public health recommendations.
“It’s so selfish to all the people of Rhode Island who have worked so hard for so long, putting their lives on hold so that we can all be safe,” said Raimondo. “That is a reckless thing to do and I really hope they don’t do it.”
If the resolution passes, the town's law enforcement would be directed to "not enforce the state of Rhode Island's Coronavirus-Related Executive Orders," including non-essential business closures and limited gatherings in public spaces.
The Narragansett Town Council is expected to vote on the resolution on Monday, May 18th before Memorial Day Weekend, which Mannix says is "typically the unofficial start of the summer season for most Americans, Rhode Islanders and Narragansett residents."
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