RHODE ISLAND: The Fine Print

The bill was 94 pages long and looked as if it might be dull reading. So the Rhode Island general assembly passed it and the governor signed it without cracking all the pages. Last week there were a lot of red faces in Rhode Island. The bill wiped out the power of every city and town in the state to appropriate money, elect or appoint officials, make police regulations, hold property, construct buildings or license amusements.

Governor John 0. Pastore explained in some embarrassment what had happened. The bill was intended to establish a uniform motor vehicle code, and to...