Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week.
Speaker Mattiello bill would allow non-opiate directive option for patients
Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7496) that would establish a procedure for individuals to file a revocable voluntary non-opiate directive form with the patient’s licensed health care practitioner. The form would indicate to all practitioners that the patient would not be administered or offered a prescription or medication order for an opiate. Click here to see news release.
Rep. Shekarchi, Sen. McCaffrey file legislation to rename T.F. Green Airport House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) introduced legislation (2018-H 7673) to change T.F. Green Airport’s name to Rhode Island International Airport. The Rhode Island Airport Corporation is seeking the change to increase awareness of Rhode Island’s main airport among domestic and international travelers and to more accurately reflect its changing complexion. Click here to see news release.
Sen. Pearson, Rep. Marshall want tax credit for charitable contributions to state
Sen. Ryan William Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) have introduced legislation (2018-S 2216, 2018-H 7550) that would create the Rhode Island Ocean State Fund within the general fund, which would accept monetary contributions for exclusively public purposes. The legislation would allow a tax credit equal to the amount contributed by a taxpayer. Click here to see news release.
Sen. Seveney, Rep. Canario bill would allow service animals in homeless shelters
Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton) and Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton) have introduced legislation (2018-S 2133,2018-H 7615) that would amend the Homeless Bill of Rights to protect homeless persons in possession of a service animal, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act from being denied access to any homeless shelter in violation of the ADA or the state or federal Fair Housing Practices Acts. Click here to see news release.
Rep. Ackerman, Sen. Goodwin legislation would ban tanning beds for minors
Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) have introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of indoor tanning beds for anyone under the age of 18. The legislation (2018-H 7136, 2018-S 2299) would amend an existing law that currently allows the practice with parental consent. Click here to see news release.
Rep. Lancia, Sen. Algiere call for restricted receipt account for 911
Rep. Robert Lancia (R-Dist. 16, Cranston) and Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) have introduced legislation (2018-H 7289,2018-S 2197) that would create a restricted receipt account for 911 funds collected by telephone service providers on land lines and cell phones. Representative Lancia also introduced a resolution (2018-H 7313) that would create a legislative commission to make a comprehensive study of the 911 Emergency Telephone System.
Sen. Goldin bill would ban high-capacity magazines Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) has introduced legislation banning high-capacity magazines, meant to prevent mass shootings like the one that left 17 dead at a Parkland, Fla., high school this week. The legislation (2018-S 2319) would ban possession, manufacture, import, purchase, sale or transfer of any ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) has introduced the bill (2018-H 7645) in the House. Click here to see news release.
Rep. Tanzi introduces bill creating panel to study workplace sexual harassment Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) has introduced a bill to create a legislative study commission to review existing state laws and recent federal policy recommendations that are meant to protect against sexual harassment in the workplace.The bill (2018-H 7678) developed out of a response to the #metoo movement and subsequent public discussion about the prevalence of sexual harassment. Click here to see news release.
Rep. McNamara bill would require driver’s ed to include rights, responsibilities
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7194) that would require driver’s education courses to include lessons on what drivers should do if pulled over by a law enforcement officer and information on the rights of drivers during a traffic stop. Click here to see news release.
Black and Latino Caucus celebrates Black History Month
The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) and Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket) hosted a Black History Month celebration in the State House Library. This year’s keynote speaker was Brent Leggs, director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.