Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. 

  • House passes Maldonado bill securing right to counsel in municipal court
    The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2017-H 5187aa) introduced by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) that would require cities and towns to comply with certain procedures when prosecuting defendants, such as the right to counsel, and would amend the penalties imposed for ordinance violations. The bill now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2017-S 0071) has been introduced by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston).
    Click here to see news release.
  • House OKs Serpa bill requiring reports of infants affected by substance abuse
    The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2017-H 5819) introduced by Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) that would require physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to report to DCYF when a newborn has been exposed to illegal substance abuse, experiences withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The legislation now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2017-S 0672) has been introduced by Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick).
    Click here to see news release.
  • House approves Edwards bill allowing children below 18 into voting booth
    The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2017-H 5448) introduced by Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) that would allow children below the age of 18 to accompany adults into the voting booth. The legislation would amend the existing law, which currently allows adults to be accompanied by children below the age of 13.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Williams bill that exempts natural hair braiders from license passes House

Rep. Anastasia P. Williams’ (D-Dist. 9, Providence) legislation (2017-H 5436) that would exempt natural hair braiders from the state’s requirement for hairdressers and cosmeticians to be licensed with the state passed the House of Representatives. 

Click here to see news release.

 

  • House OKs child-proof packaging for e-cig liquid, ban on use on school property

The House approved legislation (2017-H 5876A) filed by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) on behalf of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin to require child-resistant packaging for e-liquid used in electronic nicotine-delivery systems such as e-cigarettes and to ban e-cigarette use on school grounds. Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) is sponsoring similar legislation (2017-S 0402).
Click here to see news release.

 

  • Rep. Amore bill on care for medically fragile students passes House

Rep. Gregg Amore’s (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) legislation (2017-H 5327aa) that would establish standards of practice for school nurses who provide one-on-one care for medically fragile students was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2017-S 0152) has been introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).

Click here to see news release.

 

  • House OKs Rep. Azzinaro bill to designate RI Nine Beirut Marines Day

Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro’s (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) bill (2017-H 6061aa) that designates Oct. 23as a day to commemorate the nine Rhode Island marines killed in the 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut, Lebanon was passed by the House of Representatives.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • House OKs Canario bill to make left lanes on highways passing only

The House passed Rep. Dennis M. Canario’s (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) legislation (2017-H 5398) that would fine drivers for using the far-left lane on three-lane highways when not passing another vehicle. The legislation would fine drivers $85 if they are caught driving in the far-left lane without passing cars in the other lanes. 

Click here to see news release.

  • Rep. Keable seeks improvements for power plant siting process
    Rep. Cale P. Keable (D-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester) testified on bills he is sponsoring to expand the membership of the Energy Facility Siting Board (2017-H 6051) and bar the board from approving any application if any state or municipal agencies that have been asked to provide advisory opinions are unable to do so as a result of the applicant’s failure to provide necessary information (2017-H 5897). He was joined by numerous Burrillville citizens and other concerned community members who testified in support of the legislation, which he filed in response Burrillville’s experience with the proposed Invenergy power plant. Sen. Paul W. Fogarty (D-Dist. 23, Glocester, Burrillville, North Smithfield) is sponsoring the measures (2017-S 0769, 2017-S 0756) in the Senate.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sens. Calkin, Metts, Quezada call for public info on Providence gas rupture
    Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick), Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) are calling on the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Management to release information to the public about the health and environmental impacts of the March 29 gas transmission rupture on Allens Avenue in Providence, which released 19 million cubic feet of natural gas, enough to heat 190,000 homes for a day.
    Click here to see news release.

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