Rhode Island

St. Patrick's Toast Set After Fuss Over Rhode Island Lawmakers' Drinking

Rhode Island lawmakers are raising a glass to St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day, the week after a legislator complained about heavy drinking at the State House.

The toasts are planned for Thursday in the legislative chambers, to celebrate Irish and Italian culture.

Providence Democratic Rep. Moira Walsh last week told WPRO-AM there's an "insane amount of drinking" in the building.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello didn't consider skipping the toasts.

His spokesman, Larry Berman, says lawmakers have celebrated various cultures in this way for decades and no one is forced to participate.

Walsh, who took office in January, said Thursday she won't toast and she's frustrated by the amount of time-wasting celebrating and resolution passing.

She says they should spend more time voting and less time celebrating.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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