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

  • Speaker, Senate President appoint commission to study line item veto
    A special commission appointed by Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) to study the effects of enacting a line item veto had its first meeting. Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) and Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) have been elected as co-chairmen.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Lombardi bill would require concussion-trained adults at youth events
    Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) has submitted legislation (2018-S 2050) that would refine the law on guidelines for concussions at school and youth programs. The new law would require that an adult trained in recognizing the symptoms of a concussion be present during all events.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Rep. Diaz bill would add marijuana, vaping to secondhand smoke laws
    Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) has introduced legislation that would update Rhode Island’s secondhand smoke laws. The bill (2018-H 7299) would provide that any law or regulation which prohibits or protects a person from exposure to secondhand smoke would also include secondhand marijuana smoke or vapor, regardless of how the smoke or vapor was generated.
    Click here to see news release.

 

  • Rep. Filippi introduces bills to make state, local government more transparent

Rep. Blake Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) has introduced two bills to make state and local governments more accessible. The first (2018-H 7286) would require municipal governments to make audio and video recordings of open meetings. The second (2018-H 7287) requires audio and video recording of any open meeting held by state and quasi-public agencies.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Rep. O’Brien introduces legislation to repeal social gaming ban

Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7339) that would allow social gaming in private residences, public taverns, and private clubs as long as there is a social relationship between participants and no person other than the participants receives anything of value.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Legislators kick off Fight for $15 and fair pay initiatives 
    A coalition of community organizations and working Rhode Islanders are supporting legislation (2018-S 2244) sponsored by Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) and Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) for a $15 minimum wage by 2023 and legislation (2018-H 7427) that will be sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) for equal pay for women and minorities.

Click here to see news release.

  • Bills would preserve net neutrality for all state-funded internet service
    Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton) announced legislation (2018-H 7422) to allow Rhode Island to preserve net neutrality as much as possible following the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the open-internet regulation in December. Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 37, Hopkinton, Westerly) has also introduced companion legislation (2018-H 7076) to Senator DiPalma’s bill (2018-S 2008).
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Calkin, Rep. Regunberg introduce carbon pricing bill 
    Backed by environmental advocates and a newly formed regional coalition of state legislators, Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) and Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) announced their introduction of legislation (2018-S 21882018-H 7400) to charge fossil fuel sellers for the carbon pollution their products cause, and invest the money in the state’s clean energy and green business sector as well as rebates sent directly to energy consumers.
    Click here to see news release.
  • Sen. Miller bill would create pilot program tapping Medicaid to house homeless
    Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) has reintroduced a bill (2018-S 2129) creating the Rhode Island Pathways Project, a pilot program testing the effectiveness of using Medicaid waiver funds to provide housing and services for the chronically homeless. Studies have shown supportive housing drastically reduces medical costs, particularly emergency room visits, for the chronically homeless.

Click here to see news release.

§  Rep. Lima introduces legislation to allow online scratch tickets

Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7437) to allow the State Lottery Commission to offer online scratch tickets in addition to lottery scratch tickets bought in stores. It would also authorize the commission to offer online lottery tickets.

Click here to see news release.

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