Weekly Roundup: Key Developments at the Rhode Island General Assembly (June 10-June 14)

This week, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a series of bills addressing a wide range of issues, from healthcare and housing to law enforcement reform and firearm safety. The approved legislation includes the 2025 state budget, measures to alleviate the housing crisis, and new laws to enhance public safety and healthcare access.

General Assembly Enacts 2025 State Budget Bill

The General Assembly has approved the 2025 state budget bill (2024-H 7225Aaa), totaling $13.947 billion. This budget increases funding for education and children, raises Medicaid reimbursement rates, and includes a $120 million affordable housing bond. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Bill Requiring Safe Storage of Firearms Signed into Law

Governor Dan McKee has signed legislation (2024-S 2202aa, 2024-H 7373A) mandating the safe storage of firearms in Rhode Island. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and Sen. Pamela J. Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).

LEOBOR Reform Legislation Becomes Law

Governor McKee signed the Law Enforcement Officers’ Due Process, Accountability, and Transparency Act (2024-H 7263Aaa, 2024-S 2096Aaa). Introduced by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Deputy House Speaker Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), this law enacts significant reforms to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR).

General Assembly Approves ADU Legislation and Other Housing Crisis Bills

Several bills aimed at alleviating the state’s housing crisis, including legislation (2024-H 7062A, 2024-S 2998A) to facilitate the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), have been approved. Sponsored by House Commission on Housing Affordability Chairwoman June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) and Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), these bills are now with the governor.

HEALTH Initiative Bills Headed to Governor’s Desk

The General Assembly has passed multiple bills under the Senate leadership’s HEALTH initiative, including measures to join five interstate licensing compacts. These bills aim to improve access to healthcare and address the primary care provider shortage in Rhode Island. Two of these bills, sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence), are included in the 2025 state budget.

Lawmakers OK Bill for Automatic Disaffiliation of Independent Primary Voters

Legislation (2024-H 7662, 2024-S 2894) has been passed to make party disaffiliation automatic for registered independent voters who participate in primaries. Introduced by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry) and Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich), the bill is now awaiting the governor’s approval.

General Assembly Approves Healthcare Provider Shield Act

The Healthcare Provider Shield Act (2024-S 2262A, 2024-H 7577), designed to protect medical providers offering transgender and reproductive health care services from legal actions originating in other states, has been approved. The bill, sponsored by Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton) and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), now moves to the governor’s office.

Assembly OKs Renewable Ready Bill

The General Assembly passed the Renewable Ready bill (2024-S 2293A, 2024-H 7616A), introduced by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol). This legislation aims to facilitate the construction of renewable energy projects on former industrial sites and awaits the governor’s signature.

Assembly Passes Bill to Expand Parental, Caregiving Leave

Legislation (2024-S 2121Aaa, 2024-H 7171Aaa) to extend Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance program from six to eight weeks has been approved. Sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) and Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), the bill now moves to the governor’s office.

General Assembly OKs Bill to Extend Lookback Period for Repeat DUI Offenses

The General Assembly has passed a bill (2024-S 2937aa, 2024-H 7631aa) to extend the lookback period for repeat DUI offenses from five to ten years. The legislation, introduced by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown) and Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), now awaits the governor’s approval.




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