A review by The Public's Radio has found that the number of legislative workers from the House speaker's district has increased in recent years.
The radio station reviewed voting records and a state employee database. It reports the number of State House workers from Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's Cranston district grew from 13 in 2013, before Mattiello became speaker, to 34 by late 2018, with a payroll of more than $1.7 million.
Mattiello said in a statement that these workers are hard-working people who do a good job. His office says about one-third are summer or part-time employees.
Cranston Republican Steve Frias, who lost to Mattiello, says they're a "good vote base" for Mattiello.
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Common Cause of Rhode Island says patronage is a common, longstanding practice that needs to be monitored.