Here’s a recap of the noteworthy news and events that unfolded in the Rhode Island General Assembly this week.
Governor McKee Unveils FY 2025 State Budget Proposal
Governor Daniel McKee presented his FY 2025 state budget proposal to the General Assembly this week. The $13.7 billion proposal (2024-H 7225), introduced by House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney, will undergo public hearings in both the House and Senate Finance Committees in the coming months.
State of the State Address Echoes Achievements and Aspirations
Both houses of the General Assembly convened in grand committee to hear Governor McKee’s State of the State address. The governor highlighted accomplishments from the previous year, addressing areas such as improved school attendance, job growth at Quonset, fiscal improvements, and the state’s family-friendly environment. Goals for the future included enhancing RICAS scores and raising per capita income by $20,000 by 2030. Read the full address here.
Senate Advances Bill to Honor Bill Reynolds at Amica Pavilion
The Senate approved legislation (2024-S 2034) introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi to name the media workroom in the Amica Mutual Pavilion after the late Bill Reynolds, a beloved Providence Journal columnist. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives.
Legislation Aims to Expand Parental and Caregiving Leave
Senate Majority Whip Valarie Lawson and Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo are sponsoring legislation (2024-S 2121, 2024-H 7171) to extend Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) program from six weeks to 12. The bill also seeks to broaden the definition of a critically ill family member to include grandchildren, siblings, and “care recipients.”
Coastal Resiliency Bill Introduced by Rep. Spears and Sen. Gu
Rep. Tina Spears and Sen. Victoria Gu presented legislation (2024-H 7022) aimed at establishing and maintaining a statewide coastal resiliency plan. The plan aims to address the impacts of rising sea levels and increased flooding along Rhode Island’s rivers and coasts.
Request for Updates on I-195 West Bridge Reconstruction
East Bay legislators wrote to Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, requesting regular updates on the reconstruction and repair progress of the I-195 West bridge. The letter emphasizes the importance of detailed information and expected timelines.
Same Day Voter Registration Rally Supported by Legislators
Sen. Alana M. DiMario and Rep. Karen Alzate joined over 30 community organizations in a rally at the State House advocating for placing a question on the November 2024 ballot to enable same-day voter registration in Rhode Island.
Martin Luther King Jr. Commission’s Annual Celebration
The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission hosted its annual celebration honoring the life of the civil rights leader. The event featured remarks by commission members, state and religious leaders, musical presentations, and the presentation of awards.
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