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House Judiciary to Hear Hate Crimes, Pregnant Prisoner Bills

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will hold hearings on a range of bills Tuesday—including hate crimes legislation and a proposed new law that affects pregnant prisoners.

Other than the much-discussed civil unions bill, other bills on the agenda are:

■ House Judiciary Committee Chairwomen Edith H. Ajello is backing a bill which would change the definition of hate crime to include assaults motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

■ A bill sponsored by Rep. Roberto DaSilva, D-East Providence, would make choking or strangling another person a felony assault even if the choking or strangling results in no serious bodily injury.

■ Rep. Donna Walsh, D-Charlesown, is sponsoring a bill that would set guidelines and limits for the use of physical restraints on pregnant prisoners. For example, the bill eliminates the use of handcuffs during labor and delivery except under special circumstances.

■ Walsh also is proposing a bill which would require the electronic recording of interrogations on custody matters when the potential sentence is life imprisonment.

■ Rep. Frank G. Ferri, D-Warwick is sponsoring a bill that would allow state-licensed and federally credentialed physician assistants to participate in disaster and emergency care with or without physician supervision (as long as none is available) without fear of liability.

The hearing will be held in the House Lounge on the second floor of the Statehouse around 5 p.m.

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