Week in Review at the Rhode Island General Assembly (Jan 8 – Jan 12, 2024)

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

President Ruggerio and Speaker Shekarchi Announce Hearings on St. Mary’s Home
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi expressed concern over issues revealed in the Child Advocate’s report on St. Mary’s Home for Children. Both leaders announced Senate and House oversight hearings, emphasizing the protection of vulnerable children as a top priority. 

Corvese Bill Proposes Open Primaries for State and Municipal Elections
Rep. Arthur Corvese introduced legislation aiming to establish open primaries for state and municipal elections, ensuring candidates elected enjoy majority voter support. The proposed bill would replace the party primary system with a “general primary,” allowing the top two vote-getters to compete in the general election.

McNamara Advocates for Warwick Representation on Airport Corporation Board
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara presented legislation requiring Warwick representation on the Rhode Island Airport Corporation Board of Directors. The bill suggests appointing one of the seven directors by the mayor of Warwick with the advice and consent of the Rhode Island Senate.

Edwards Bill Aims to Protect Sapowet Marsh Management Area
Rep. John G. Edwards introduced legislation safeguarding the Sapowet Marsh Management Area in Tiverton. The bill (2024-H 7060) proposes designating the 296-acre salt marsh as open space, exclusively for passive outdoor recreation.

Euer Appointed to EPA Advisory Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer was appointed to the Local Government Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency. Notably, women now hold a majority of membership seats, marking a historic moment for the committee.

Senators Engage in White House Event on Federal Investments in Rhode Island
Senators DiPalma, Euer, Lauria, and Gu participated in a White House event highlighting the significant federal investments in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The event underscored the impact of these investments on the region. 

Senator Cano to Join AFL-CIO MLK Day Human Rights Conference
Sen. Sandra Cano, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, will participate in the AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference. She will contribute to a panel discussion on democracy’s front lines, addressing the rise of extremism in Rhode Island’s political landscape. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Commission’s Annual Celebration on Jan. 15
The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission will hold its annual celebration on Monday, Jan. 15. The event will include remarks by commission members, state and religious leaders, musical presentations, and the presentation of awards. Rep. Raymond A. Hull, commission chair, will serve as the master of ceremonies. 




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