Readers are reminded that the following stories are written by people who work for the Legislators involved.........

 

 

 

March 8, 2019

Legislative Press Bureau at (401) 528-1743

           

 

This week at the

General Assembly

 

STATE HOUSE — Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

§  House passes Reproductive Privacy Act

The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5125A) introduced by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams’ (D-Dist. 9, Providence) that codifies in state law the privacy rights and reproductive freedoms guaranteed by the United States Supreme Court in the case Roe v. Wade and its constitutional progeny. The Senate Judiciary Committee also heard testimony on the companion legislation (2019-S 0152A) sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  House passes Solomon bill to curb development on State House grounds
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5041) introduced by Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) that would prohibit the development of any land contiguous to the State House unless approved by the General Assembly.
The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 0221) has been introduced by Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Bristol, Tiverton, Warren).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Bills would bring more transparency to Hospital Conversion Act
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) has introduced bills that would bring further transparency to the St. Joseph’s Health Services pension plan and the Hospital Conversions Act. The first bill (2019-S 0431), would require all pension plans to submit to public scrutiny, including public reporting of all its liabilities and assets. The second bill (2019-S 0500) would strengthen a law passed last year that brings greater transparency to the hospital conversion process.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Speaker Mattiello introduces bills to address opioid crisis
Building upon new laws he sponsored last year, House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) has introduced two bills to help address the opioid overdose epidemic in Rhode Island. One bill (2019-H 5537) would limit most first-time opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. The other (2019-H 5536) would shield police and first responders from civil liability for using or providing lifesaving opioid antagonists.
Click here to see news release.

§  Rep. Caldwell introduces package of gun laws supported by governor, AG

Rep. Justine Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) introduced legislation proposed by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Gun Safety Working Group and by Attorney General Peter Neronha to curb gun violence. The bills would bar the sale and possession of assault weapons (2019-H 5741), ban the sale and possession of devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition (2019-H 5739) and require that weapons be stored in a locked container or with tamper-resistant mechanical lock or safety device (2019-H 5740). Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton) has introduced companion legislation (2019-S 0502) to the final bill.

Click here to see news release.

§  Sen. Ciccone, Rep. Williams bill allows driving privileges for undocumented

Sen. Frank A. Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence) and Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) held a press conference concerning legislation (2019-S 0153, 2019-H 5511) they sponsored that would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driving privilege licenses and permits to applicants unable to establish lawful presence in the United States. 

Click here for Ciccone release.

Click here for Williams release.

 

§  Rep. Place submits bill to reform Energy Facility Siting Act

Rep. David Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester) introduced legislation (2019-H 5446) to reform the Energy Facility Siting Act. The proposed updates include increasing public and municipal participation, increased environmental protections, a faster and more transparent application process, expansion of members, and compliance from construction to operation. The proposed bill would also expand the EFSA from three to seven members for substantial energy projects.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Ruggiero bill would add more biodiesel to heating oil
Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5447) that would help Rhode Island meet its carbon emissions reduction goals by phasing in higher percentages of biodiesel in heating oil sold in Rhode Island.
Click here to see news release.

§  Advocates back bills for economic justice
At a State House event, a coalition of advocates and organizations backed the “Women’s Economic Justice Platform,” a group of bills that includes equal pay legislation (2019-H 5659, 2019-S 0460) sponsored by Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) and Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), legislation (2019-S 0508) to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 sponsored by Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), and others pertaining to sexual harassment, paid leave, child care and more.

§  Senator Lombardi bill would allow municipal regulation of wind farms
 Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) has submitted legislation (2019-S 0414) that would allow cities and towns to pass ordinances regarding wind farms, requiring notice be given to nearby property owners before construction.
Click here to see news release.

 

 

 

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intense storms are expected in the Plains states this weekend. The National Weather Service is warning people from South Dakota to West Texas to prepare for hail, high winds and possibly even tornadoes. The cities that could see the worst of the storm system are Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City.       President Trump is accusing those who "spied" on his campaign in 2016 of "treason." The President said those behind the start of the Russia investigation should get long prison sentences. Attorney General Bill Barr has asked a U.S. Attorney to investigate how the Russia investigation began.       As one trade war heats up, another one is coming to an end. President Trump announced he's reached a deal with Canada and Mexico to remove tariffs on metal imports. He hopes the move will help win passage of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement. Last week Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports, causing the markets to react to that trade war.       Two Indiana politicians are continuing their war of words. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg [[ BOOT-edge-edge ]] said on the Hugh Hewitt Show today that Vice President Mike Pence backs "homophobic policies." He did say that Pence, the state's former governor and senator, has always been polite to him when the crossed paths. Pence has said that Buttigieg is attacking his Christian faith.       The Air Force is confirming that there was live ammunition on board the fighter jet that crashed into a Southern California warehouse Thursday. They did not provide any additional information. The 215 Freeway between the warehouse and the air base was closed for more than 24 hours as a precaution.        The government is asking a federal judge to return a letter written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 to its archives. An employee of the Massachusetts Archives stole that and other letters written by the founding fathers, including George Washington, in the 1930s and '40s. A South Carolina family said their ancestor bought it and didn't know it was stolen in the 1940s, and they want to auction it off.