Weekly Roundup: Key Developments in Rhode Island’s General Assembly (March 11 – March 15)

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

Firearms Safe Storage Bill Moves Forward: Sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria and Rep. Justine A. Caldwell, legislation (2024-S 2202 and 2024-H 7373) requiring safe storage of firearms received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is set for consideration by the full Senate next week.

Senate Passes HIV Prevention Prescription Bill: The Senate approved legislation (2024-S 2255) introduced by Sen. Melissa A. Murray, aiming to remove barriers to accessing HIV prevention medications. The bill now heads to the House for further review.

Noncompete Clause Ban for Nurse Practitioners Approved: A bill prohibiting noncompete clauses in nurse practitioners’ employment contracts, sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria and Rep. June S. Speakman, passed the Senate and moves to the House for consideration.

Legislation on Human Reproductive Tissue Storage Introduced: Rep. Joseph M. McNamara proposed the Reproductive Tissue Safety and Storage Act of 2024 (2024-H 8025), requiring facilities storing human reproductive tissue to meet accreditation standards.

Measures to Protect Against Medical Debt Practices Introduced: Rep. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith and Sen. Jacob Bissaillon introduced legislation (2024-H 7103 and 2024-S 2711) aimed at safeguarding individuals from harmful medical debt collection practices.

Support Grows for Healthy School Meals for All Bill: Over 40 local organizations backed legislation (2024-H 7400 and 2024-S 2320) by Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Sandra S. Cano and Rep. Justine A. Caldwell, advocating for free nutritious meals for all students.

Initiative to Enhance State Agency Sustainability: Sen. Joshua Miller and Rep. Jennifer Boylan proposed legislation (2024-H 7857 and 2024-S 2543) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste produced by state agencies.

Efforts to Combat Predatory Lending Schemes: Sen. Melissa A. Murray and Rep. Brandon Potter introduced legislation (2024-S 2275 and 2024-H 7941) aimed at closing loopholes allowing predatory lending practices.

Call for Increased Civics Education Funding: Legislators, students, and educators rallied for enhanced civics education funding, supporting bills (2024-H 7036 and 2024-S 2321) sponsored by Rep. June S. Speakman and Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Sandra Cano.

Push for Expanded Paid Family Leave: The Economic Progress Institute recommended expanding paid family leave in Rhode Island, coinciding with legislation (2024-S 2121 and 2024-H 7171) introduced by Sen. Valarie Lawson and Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo.




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