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

  • Assembly receives governor’s budget proposal, State of the State Address
    House Finance Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) introduced Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s $9.38 billion budget proposal (2018-H 7200) for the 2019 fiscal year to the House on her behalf. His committee will soon begin public hearings on the plan. The House and the Senate met jointly on Tuesday to receive the governor’s State of the State address, during which she previewed some of her budget proposals, such as an initiative to help manufacturers expand and a plan to invest over $650 million into crumbling public school buildings. 
  • Senate passes legislation to authorize financing of PawSox stadium
    The State Senate has passed legislation (2018-S 20012018-S 2002) introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that authorizes the state to enter into lease and financing agreements in connection with a baseball stadium in downtown Pawtucket. It would also permit redevelopment agencies to finance the construction of projects for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, institutional, public or other purposes contemplated by a redevelopment plan.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. McNamara introduces R.I. Livable Home Tax Credit Act
    Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7142) for a tax credit for taxpayers who purchase new residences or retrofit residences which meet standards that make the residences more accessible for elderly and disabled persons.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. Kennedy, Sen. Ruggerio bill would ban counterfeit automobile airbags
    Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7125) that would comprehensively expand the registration of motor vehicle airbags to prohibit the manufacture and importation of substandard airbags and broaden the definition of airbags. Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) plans to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. Regunberg submits package to open access to the State House
    Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) introduced the Citizen Lobbyist Easier Access Reform (CLEAR) bill (2018-H 7214), which contains a number of new accessibility measures and limitations on special-interest spending. The bill would make it easier for citizens to participate in the legislative process by providing parking, a bus stop and child care at the State House and reserving spaces for them to testify early in committee meetings. It would also impose stricter limits on contributions from lobbyists to lawmakers.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Legislators aim to curb Trump administration plan to open R.I. coast to drilling
    In response to a Trump administration announcement of a plan to open up nearly all of the United States’ coasts — including Rhode Island’s — to offshore drilling, Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) introduced a resolution (2018-H 7179) opposing the administration’s plan. Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) announced legislation they are drafting to ban the construction of oil terminals, platforms and any other equipment related to oil production onshore in Rhode Island, and to ban oil drilling within the first three nautical miles from the shore, which is under state jurisdiction.
    Click here to see Representative Carson-Senator Euer’s release.
    Click here to see Representative Regunberg’s release.
  • Rep. Nardolillo bill would increase penalties for deadly hit-and-run collisions

Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28, Coventry) announced legislation to increase the penalties for cases of hit-and-run accidents that result in death. The bill would increase the minimum prison time to five years, double the maximum fine allowed up to $20,000 and invalidate the offender’s license for five years.
Click here to see news release.

 

  • Sen. DiPalma, Rep. Kennedy introduce bill on net neutrality rules

Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton, Little Compton) and Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) introduced legislation (2018-S 2008,2018-H 7076) that would prohibit the state and its municipalities from entering into contracts with any internet service provider that engages in business practices that were prohibited by recently repealed net neutrality rules.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Rep. O’Brien, Sen. Ciccone reintroduce Healthy Workplace Act

Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has reintroduced legislation (2018-H 7024) that would establish a cause of action against employers and employees for workplace bullying, harassment and other abusive behavior that may not fall into other categories that are already protected such as race, color, sex or sexual orientation.  Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence) will be reintroducing the companion legislation in the Senate.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Commission holds annual celebration

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission held its annual celebration of the life and death of the great civil rights leader at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), who chairs the commission, served as master of ceremonies.  Rep. Joseph S. Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence) and Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) also serve on the commission.

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