State House view from the southThis 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

 

 

§  Budget bill advances
The 2025 state budget bill (2024-H 7225A), which was approved by the House Finance Committee May 31, is slated to come before the House for consideration June 7. The $13.947 billion budget directs additional funding toward education and children, raises Medicaid reimbursement rates and includes a $120 million affordable housing bond. The budget is $60 million less than it is in the current fiscal year, reflecting an end in federal pandemic aid. Following House passage, the bill must also pass the Senate before being sent to the governor.
Click here to see news release.

§  Assembly approves bill requiring safe storage of firearms
The General Assembly has approved legislation (2024-S 2202aa, 2024-H 7373A) 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) to require safe storage of firearms in Rhode Island. The legislation now heads to Gov. Daniel McKee, who supports the bill.
Click here to see news release.

  • General Assembly OKs LEOBOR reform legislation

The General Assembly passed the Law Enforcement Officers’ Due Process, Accountability and Transparency Act (2024-H 7263Aaa, 2024-S 2096Aaa) which will bring significant and long-overdue reforms to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR).  The bills were introduced by Deputy Speaker Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence) and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence).  The legislation now heads to the governor’s office.

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  • Assembly passes Ruggerio, O’Brien bill to stiffen penalties for dog abuse

The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-S 2744, 2024-H 8095) sponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) that would increase the penalty for violations of the care of dogs statute to a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $1,000 per violation. The care of dogs statute includes regulations on tethering dogs, leaving them outside and providing proper care and nutrition. The legislation now heads to the governor for consideration.

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  • Assembly OKs Casimiro, Ciccone bill protecting workers’ health coverage

The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-H 7795B, 2024-S 2901B) sponsored by Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) and Sen. Frank A. Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, Johnston) that prohibits contractors and subcontractors from paying employees the cash equivalent of any applicable health care benefit in lieu of actually purchasing the health care benefit. The legislation now heads to the governor for consideration.

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§  Assembly OKs bill banning noncompete clauses for nurse practitioners
The General Assembly has approved legislation (2024-S 22202024-H 7696) sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) and Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) to prohibit noncompete clauses in employment contracts for nurse practitioners. The legislation, which now goes to the governor’s desk, gives nurse practitioners a protection that physicians have and is intended to address a factor contributing to the state’s shortage of primary care providers.
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§  General Assembly OKs bill to create ‘Blue Envelope Program’
The General Assembly approved legislation from Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) and Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) to create a voluntary “Blue Envelope Program” for drivers with autism to improve communication between them and law enforcement during traffic stops. The legislation (2024-H 7040A2024-S 2481A) now heads to the governor’s desk.
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§  Assembly approves bill to educate buyers of shoreline property of right to access
The General Assembly has approved legislation from Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) and Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) to improve disclosure of shoreline access rights and related conditions during the sale of oceanfront property. The legislation (2024-S 2185A2024-H 7376A) now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  General Assembly approves e-bike bill
The General Assembly voted to approve legislation from Rep. Jennifer Boylan (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence) and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) to expand the legal use of electric bicycles in Rhode Island by modernizing their classification and regulation. The legislation (2024-H 7713A2024-S 2829A) now heads to the governor’s desk.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Assembly approves consumer protection bill for solar industry
The General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by House Deputy Majority Whip Mia A. Ackerman and Sen. Jacob Bissaillon to protect consumers and ensure a healthy solar industry by regulating businesses selling home solar systems. The legislation (2024-H 7603A2024-S 2801Aaa) now goes to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Click here to see news release.

 

 

The Supreme Court is getting rid of a Trump-era ban on "bump stocks." The court ruled Friday that the firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire more quickly can't be included in a 1934 law banning machine guns. The decision was 6-3 on ideological lines, striking down a regulation imposed during the Trump administration. Despite the ruling, bump stocks remain illegal in 18 states.       The Supreme Court is not yet ruling on Donald Trump's claims of presidential immunity. The court did not make a decision on the consequential case today, but may do so on June 20th when its next opinions are released. The case impacts some of Trump's pending cases, including his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump argues he is immune from prosecution because his actions fell under official conduct that should be protected, and was not a private act.       Floridians can expect even more rain today after days of severe weather and flooding. Non-stop rain has drenched parts of the southern half of the state for days now -- including Miami. Governor Ron DeSantis already declared a state of emergency. Thunderstorm activity in the region is expected to subside by the weekend, but forecasters say flash flooding and urban flooding will remain possible through Saturday.       Kate, Princess of Wales, says she is making "good progress" in her treatment for cancer. In a rare statement Friday, the British royal said she is still undergoing chemotherapy and that she has "a few more months" of treatment remaining. She also announced that she will be attending a military parade Saturday to mark King Charles the Third's birthday. This will be her first official public appearance since she revealed she has cancer.       Ukraine is rejecting Russia's demands to bring the war between the two countries to an end. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would end the war if Ukraine agreed to certain conditions. Those include Kyiv [[ KEEV ]] dropping its ambitions to join NATO, pulling out troops from four Ukrainian provinces claimed by Moscow. The proposal from Russia came just a day after the U.S. and Ukraine agreed to a new ten-year security agreement.       The USA cricket team is continuing to make history. The team has advanced to the next stage of the men's T20 Cricket World Cup after its match against Ireland was rained out in Florida Friday. The point earned by the USA due to the game being called off meant the team qualified for the Super Eight stage of the tournament. The USA will now be placed in a group of four of the final eight teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinal round.