Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit

  • Sen. Calkin, Rep. Donovan bill would overhaul overtime pay law
    Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) and Rep. Susan Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol) have submitted legislation (2017-S 0505/2017-H 5596) in their respective chambers that would change the current overtime exemption law. As it stands now, executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempted from overtime pay if they are salaried at more than $200 per week. The new law would raise that number to $1,036.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Archambault legislation targets surprise medical billing
    Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) has introduced legislation (2017-S 0494) that would curb surprise medical billing by providing for a dispute resolution process for emergency services and surprise bills for medical services performed by nonparticipating (out-of-network) health care providers.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Goldin introduces fair pay, paid family leave legislation
    Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) has introduced two bills aimed at fair pay and paid family leave. The first bill would not only provide protections against wage differentials based on sex, but would require employers to justify any differentials that do exist based on bona fide factors other than sex. The second bill would expand Rhode Island’s family and medical leave insurance.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. Shekarchi seeks to expand support for children who witness violent crime

House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner are seeking to expand Rhode Island’s Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVCP) to include support for minors who witness homicides or domestic violence.  The bill (2017-H 5452) would allow parents and guardians to apply to Rhode Island’s Crime Victim Compensation Program for reimbursement for expenses related to psychiatric care and mental health counseling for underage witnesses.

Click here to see news release.

  • Rep. Morgan legislation would create child abuse/animal abuse cross reporting
    House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R-Dist. 26, Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) has introduced a resolution (2017-H 5392) requesting that the state of Rhode Island adopt a mandatory child abuse/domestic violence and animal abuse cross reporting system. The resolution asks that all child protection and domestic violence case workers must report suspected animal abuse to animal control/humane officer agencies and all animal control and humane officers must report suspected child abuse or domestic violence to child protection/domestic violence agencies.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. Casimiro seeks to return more unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders

Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter), in cooperation with General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, has introduced legislation (2017-H 5743) which will make it easier for the Treasury to return unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders through more efficient communication between state agencies.  In addition to helping to return more Unclaimed Property, the legislation also allows the Treasury, and the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island to collaborate with other state departments where data sharing can provide additional or more updated information on individuals already in the Treasury’s databases.

Click here to see news release.

  • House panel OKs Rep. Corvese bill outlining punishment for fentanyl possession

The House Committee on Judiciary has passed Rep. Arthur J. Corvese’s (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) legislation (2017-H 5517A) that amends the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act to include penalties for fentanyl possession.  The legislation now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Click here to see news release.

  • Rep. McNamara introduces package of bills to ease tax burden on seniors
    Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced a package of legislation designed to assist Rhode Island’s senior citizens by easing their tax burden. The first bill (2017-H 5024) would increase the exemption for retirement income from state income tax from $15,000 to $30,000 starting in 2018.
    The second bill (2017-H 5426) would establish a 100 percent tax credit for seniors relating to any costs in the modification of a motor vehicle. The third bill (2017-H 5778) would provide a tax credit for taxpayers who purchase new residences or retrofit residences which meet or are modified to meet standards that make the residences more accessible for elderly and disabled persons.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Coyne, Rep. Maldonado, Sen. Morgan submit bills on human trafficking
    Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) has introduced legislation (2017-S 0073) that would establish penalties and remedies and would make human trafficking and human trafficking for purposes of sexual servitude, forced labor, and commercial sexual activity felonies punishable by imprisonment and fines.  Similar legislation (2017-H 5300) has been introduced in the House by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls). Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, (R-Dist. 34, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich), has introduced legislation (2017-S 0421) that would require contact information for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center be posted at truck stops and other targeted establishments.
    Click here to see Coyne release.

          Click here to see Morgan release.

  • Sen. Nesselbush, Rep. Hearn host International Women’s Day at State House
    Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and Rep. Joy Hearn (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence) hosted a state celebration of the United Nations-recognized International Women’s Day. The gathering honored senior female firefighters in each local fire department as well as honoring newly-appointed State Police Superintendent Col. Ann Assumpico.
    Click here to see news release.