Readers are reminded these stories are written by people who work for the legislators.............--Ed.

 

 

 

June 14, 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, Senate pass bills from education reform legislation package
The Senate and House of Representatives approved bills that are part of a package of education reform legislation that was unveiled earlier this year. The first bill (2019-S 0863Aaa, 2019-H 5008A), sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) and Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) would require the commissioner of education to align statewide academic standards with curriculum and the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System. The second (2019-S 0869, 2019-H 6085) sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a fast-track program to certify new principals. In addition, the Senate passed a third bill (2019-S 0864A) sponsored by Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick) that would cause the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to become a professional support partner with local education agencies regarding effective ways to evaluate student improvement and proficiency. That measure now moves to the House, where similar legislation (2019-H 6111) has been introduced by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence).
Click here to see House release.

Click here to see Senate release.

 

§  Senate passes Conley bill to increase earned income tax credit
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0272) introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that would increase Rhode Island’s earned income tax credit from 15 percent to 20 percent for the tax years 2020 and beyond. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 5245) has been introduced by Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Vella-Wilkinson bill allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5549) introduced by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) that would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives, provided that the pharmacist has completed a training program approved by the state Board of Pharmacy. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate OKs ‘Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport’ renaming
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0855) introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) that would rename the state airport “Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.” The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 6149) has been introduced by Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate OKs Ruggerio bill to streamline development on large tracts of state land

The Senate passed legislation (2019-S-803Aaa) sponsored by President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that takes a new approach to economic development on large tracts of state land. Spurred by delays and impediments imposed upon the Hope Point Tower proposal for the I-195 Redevelopment District, the bill intends to create a more streamlined process for approvals on these state-owned parcels moving forward.

Click here to see news release

 

§  House OKs Edwards bill expanding support after overdose hospital visits
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5383) introduced by House Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) that would expand the Alexander C. Perry and Brandon Goldner Act on hospital discharge planning. The change will improve support for those hospitalized for drug overdoses and mental health emergencies by increasing the likelihood that their families or others wishing to assist them with treatment are aware of their hospitalization. The measure now moves to the Senate, which passed similar legislation (2019-S 0139A) introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate approves McCaffrey bill to curtail use of plastic straws in restaurants
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0202A) introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) that would prohibit a food service establishment from providing a consumer with a single-use plastic straw, unless the straw is from a self-service dispenser or the consumer requests such a straw. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 5314) has been introduced by Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate passes Sen. Coyne’s bills on Alzheimer’s care, elder abuse

The Senate has approved four bills sponsored Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) to better support Rhode Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease and to protect against elder abuse. One bill (2019-S 0223, 2019-H 5178), which is also sponsored in the House by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), would establish a program within the Department of Health dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease. Another bill (2019-S 0302A, 2019-H 5141), which is also sponsored in the House by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), allows the spouses or partners of patients residing in Alzheimer’s or dementia special care units or programs to live with them. The Senate also passed her bill (2019-S 0603A, 2019-H 5573), which is sponsored in the House by Rep. David E. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston), expanding a law that requires people to report elder abuse and neglect and her bill (2019-S 0845A, 2019-H 6114) requiring those who serve as guardians for other adults to pass nationwide background checks, which is sponsored in the House by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Reproductive Privacy Act approved by Senate Committee
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved the Reproductive Privacy Act (2019-H 5125B), sponsored by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence). The bill, which codifies the protections set forth by the Roe v. Wade decision and its progeny, now heads to the full Senate and must also return to the House for approval of amendments before it can go to the governor.

§  House Finance Committee expected to vote on FY 2020 state budget

The House Finance Committee was expected to vote on the FY 2020 state budget (2019-H 5151) on Friday night. Once passed by the committee, the entire House of Representatives will vote on the budget one week later due to House rules.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cities across the country are bracing for another night of protests over the death of George Floyd. Crowds have already gathered in Washington, D.C., New York City, Houston and Los Angeles. Some protests erupted in violence yesterday after it got dark.        George Floyd's child's mother is expressing her sorrow knowing their daughter will grow up without her father. Speaking in Minneapolis, Roxie Washington said he will never be able attend future birthdays, graduations or walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Washington said Floyd loved his daughter and was a great father.       Presidential candidate Joe Biden plans to attend George Floyd's funeral in Houston next Tuesday. The service will follow a public viewing at Fountain of Praise church on Monday. Although he was born in North Carolina, Floyd grew up in Houston.       Members of the National Guard are successfully deescalating a protest in Hollywood. A group of protesters got into a standoff with the Guard when all of a sudden everyone took a knee. A few moments later protesters and the National Guardsmen where seen hugging it out before dispersing peacefully.       Amazon is having a "Summer Sale" in an effort to give retailers an economic boost. CNBC reports the sale will start on June 22nd and could last for seven to ten days. While Amazon has yet to give the event an official name it has been dubbed the "Biggest Sale in the Sky" for now.       A doctor with the National Institutes of Health says the warm weather is unlikely to slow the spread of COVID-19. President Trump has repeatedly touted that COVID would recede during the summer months because of the heat. Doctor Francis Collins wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the climate would only matter if a large portion of the population had built up an immunity or resistance to the infection.