Editor's Note:  Readers are reminded that the following reports were written by people who work for the General Assembly.

 

Feb. 1, 2019

 

           

 

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

 

 

§  Senate OKs Conley bill to protect furloughed workers during shutdowns
The Senate has passed legislation (2019-S 0065aa) introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that enables city and town councils to grant relief from the payment of taxes during periods where federal or state government cease governmental operations for employees of the state or federal government. The measure moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 5191) has been introduced by Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Lima reintroduces legislation to ban the renting or leasing of ‘forever pets'

Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) has reintroduced legislation (2019-H 5246) to prohibit any business or individual in Rhode Island from renting, leasing, or in any other way offering a live animal for sale as a “forever pet” other than by a full outright sale.  A “forever pet” is defined as any dog or cat purchased from a business or individual which purchase does not vest permanent ownership in the buyer.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Amore reintroduces bill to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections

Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) has reintroduced legislation (2019-H 5139) that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections as long as the individual will be 18 years old by the date of the general or special election. Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) is introducing the bill in the Senate.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Shanley legislation would create office of inspector general
Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would create the office of inspector general. The bill (2019-H 5236) would establish the office as an independent administrative agency charged with the responsibility to investigate, detect, and prevent fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in the expenditure of public funds.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. McLaughlin bill would authorize $20 million to capital plan funds
Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) has introduced legislation that would authorize $20 million to the Rhode Island Capital Plan Funds, which allows certain funds to be allocated to agencies for the purpose of completing preliminary planning studies for proposed projects. The bill (2019-H 5148) would make an appropriation for transportation projects.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Raptakis to reintroduce bill tying minimum wage increases to CPI

Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich, East Greenwich) will be reintroducing legislation that ties any future increase in the hourly minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index of the Northeast Region. Senator Raptakis introduced the same bill (2018-S 2246) last session.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Lawson, Sen. Archambault bills would aid furloughed workers

Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) has introduced legislation (2019-S 0175) that would allow federal employees who are working during a government shutdown to receive unemployment benefits while they are working but not being paid.  Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) has submitted legislation (2019-S 0192) that would establish a new program to assist federal employees who have been affected by a shutdown by making available state-backed loans not to exceed $5,000.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Corvese files bill to create animal abuse registry
Rep. Arthur Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5113) to create a statewide animal abuser registry aimed at preventing those with a history of mistreating animals from obtaining other animals. The registry would be available online for anyone transferring a pet, and pet sellers and shelters would be required to check all those to whom they provide pets.
Click here to see news release.

§  Sen. Miller bill aims to expand support after overdose, mental health ER visits
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on legislation (2019-S 0139) sponsored by its chairman, Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) to expand the Alexander C. Perry and Brandon Goldner Act on hospital discharge planning to allow hospitals to contact patients’ emergency contact and recovery coach in certain situations, in accordance with federal HIPAA guidance. The bill is meant to help ensure that those hospitalized for drug overdoses and mental health emergencies have personal support when they are discharged.
Click here to see news release.

§  Study commission on effects of wind turbines on marine life forms
Rep. Justin K. Price (R-Dist. 39, Richmond, Hopkinton, Exeter) was elected chairman at the first meeting of a legislative commission that will study the effects of wind turbines on all marine wildlife.
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key members of Congress will be given a chance next week to see a less-redacted version of the Mueller report. The Republican and Democratic heads in the Senate and House intelligence and judiciary committees will get to see that version of the report, as will the leaders of both parties in the Senate and House. The Justice Department will provide a secure reading room for them to review the report.        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to introduce new legislation to raise the national smoking age. The Republican lawmaker from Kentucky plans to introduce his bill next month. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine out of 10 cigarette smokers first try smoking by 18.        The Weather Channel is back on the air after a "malicious software attack on the network." The channel's morning show "AMHQ" was unable to go on air Thursday morning because of the issue. There's been no word on who was behind the attack.       A so-called born alive abortion bill is hitting a wall in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill yesterday, which would require doctors to preserve the life of a baby born alive after an abortion attempt. The governor called it needless legislation because the law already protects newborn babies.        Pier 1 Imports plans to close more stores. The struggling home decor retailer says it could shutter as many as 145 locations after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results. Pier 1 closed 30 stores during the fiscal year that ended in March.        Festivalgoers are flocking to Indio, California again for weekend two of Coachella. The festival includes headliners Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande, plus Janelle Monae, The 1975, Weezer, Billie Eilish [[ EYE-lish ]], Janelle Monae, Wiz Khalifa and dozens of other artists. Some sets will be live-streamed on YouTube.