911 Legislation, I-195 Project & More: This Week at the State House
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Senate passes Sosnowski bill to address mental health of college students
The Senate has approved legislation introduced by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), that would require each public institution of postsecondary education to establish a plan for addressing the mental health needs of its students. The bill would require each institution to develop policies aimed at identifying a student exhibiting suicidal behavior or tendencies. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
House creates panel to study workplace sexual harassment laws
The House approved a new legislative study commission tasked with reviewing existing state laws and recent federal policy recommendations meant to protect individuals against sexual harassment in the workplace. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett), is a response to the national public discussion about the prevalence of sexual harassment prompted by the #metoo movement.
Senate passes Ruggerio bill to facilitate I-195 project
The Rhode Island Senate passed legislation to alter the boundaries of a parcel within the I-195 Redevelopment District. The change is necessary in order for a potential construction project to move forward. President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D – Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) sponsored the legislation which passed the Senate unanimously. The measure now moves to the House.
Sen. Crowley’s bill that raises jurors’ pay passes Senate
The Rhode Island Senate has passed Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley’s legislation that raises the pay jurors receive for serving in the Rhode Island Superior Court. The legislation raises the jurors’ daily pay while serving in the Superior Court from $15 per day to $25 per day starting on July 1, 2019. The pay would then increase to $35 per day commencing on July 1, 2020. The measure now moves to the House, where Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) has introduced similar legislation.
Speaker Mattiello, Sen. Gallo bill would improve safety at public schools
Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) have introduced legislation to examine the safety of Rhode Island’s schools and to ensure that safety plans are adopted in each school department. To ensure that the assessments are being completed in a timely fashion, the bill would require that school districts provide the safety assessments to the Rhode Island School Safety Committee every three years for review and recommendations.
Rep. McNamara, Sen. Felag announce R.I. Livable Home Modification Act
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) and Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Bristol, Tiverton, Warren) joined with representatives of AARP Rhode Island at a press conference to announce the introduction of the Rhode Island Livable Home Modification Grant Act. The legislation would allow eligible homeowners and renters to retrofit their residence to nationally recognized accessibility standards and receive 50 percent of the total sum spent, up to $5,000, to retrofit their existing residence.
Rep. Maldonado, Sen. McCaffrey bill would protect DACA Dreamers
Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) and Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) have introduced legislation that would continue to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors. The legislation would continue the status quo relating to operator and chauffeur’s licenses and limited work authorization to approved recipients under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Sen. Algiere again introduces ‘911 account’ legislation
Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), has again introduced legislation that would create a restricted receipt account for all 911 funds collected by telephone service providers for both landline and cell phones. The bill includes a caveat that would empower the Public Utilities Commission to reduce 911 fees should the amount collected exceed the amount they need to fund 911 services. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Robert B. Lancia (R-Dist. 16, Cranston).
Bill would ban death-in-prison sentences for children
Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) have introduced legislation to enable those serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles to be eligible for parole after serving 15 years, effectively eliminating life without parole for juvenile offenders and ensuring the state complies with recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Rep. Thomas Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester) has introduced legislation meant to prevent the misrepresentation of pets as service animals. Representative Winfield said he introduced the legislation at the request of the restaurant and hospitality industry, which often grapples with health codes that ban animals from their premises and pet owners who try to skirt those codes by claiming their pet is a service animal. The bill is being sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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