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Fireworks, Sex Trafficking, & Highway Protests: The Week at the State House

Saturday, January 24, 2015


With bills ranging from banning fireworks to making highway protests a felony, check out what's been happening up on Smith Hill this week...

Canario introduces bills to make RI business-friendlier

Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Portsmouth, Tiverton) has introduced two bills to help encourage business growth and spur job creation. One would eliminate the state’s $500 minimum corporate tax which is paid annually by all businesses beginning the date they incorporate in the state. The other creates a commission to study and issue findings and recommendations on ways to streamline new business startup procedures and regulations in the state.

Pearson submits bill to fund school construction

With the current moratorium on state aid to school construction set to expire in May, Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation to reform the process through which school construction projects are approved and provide a designated funding stream to meet the needs of modern public education facilities. Based on the work of a 2014 Senate task force, the bill would allocate funding of annual revenues for projects based on need, priority and cost effectiveness, and establish a dedicated funding stream though the sales tax.

Serpa bill demands disclosure of executive pay for agencies contracting with RI

Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) has submitted a bill that would require agencies contracting with the state to provide care for the elderly, youth and developmentally disabled to disclose their executives’ compensation and administrative costs.

Sen. Hannah Gallo

Gallo bill provides funding for full-day kindergarten

Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Hanna M. Gallo (D-Cranston, West Warwick) has submitted legislation to incentivize school districts to implement universal full-day kindergarten programs. The bill would accelerate the implementation of a portion of the education aid formula for funding new full-day programs that begin in the 2015-16 school year at the rate they would be funded when the formula is fully phased in. The formula is currently three years from full implementation.

Ackerman bill would ease corporation tax burden for small businesses

Hoping to make the state’s corporation tax less heavy handed for small businesses, Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation that would change the minimum corporation tax for small businesses to be more in line with the income of the business. The new law would change the tax to a sliding scale that depends on the gross receipts for the year.

Ciccone bill would require 90 days of residency for RI Works eligibility

Sen. Frank A Ciccone III (D-Providence, North Providence) has submitted legislation that would require 90 days of residency in Rhode Island before becoming eligible for benefits under the Rhode Island Works program. The RI Works program offers temporary cash assistance, health coverage, child care assistance, and help finding job training or a job. This program is available for pregnant women and adults with children under age 18 (or under age 19 if child is a full-time student). 

Rep. Arthur J. Corvese

Corvese bill would ban fireworks in Rhode Island

After receiving a petition seeking its introduction, Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-North Providence) has introduced legislation to ban the private use of all fireworks in Rhode Island. The bill would roll back a 2010 law that allowed the use of some non-aerial fireworks, but which the representative said has also led to an increase in the use of other more dangerous and disruptive fireworks.

Crowley proposes ‘economic ambassadors’ to help promote state

To help market the state as a good place to do business, Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Central Falls, Pawtucket) has introduced legislation calling for the appointment of non-paid “economic ambassadors” to promote business activities and economic investments in Rhode Island. Selected by the governor as individuals who have earned recognition or distinction as business leaders, they would serve for a term of five years.

Sen. Morgan bill would boost sex trafficking penalties

Sen. Elaine J. Morgan (R-Hopkinton, Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond, West Greenwich) introduced legislation increasing penalties for sex trafficking of a minor.

Senator Lou Raptakis

Raptakis bill addresses unlawful interference with traffic

Responding to a recent incident on a highway in Boston during which protestors halted traffic, and a similar incident on Route 95 in Providence late last year, Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) has introduced legislation creating a felony charge for individuals unlawfully interfering with traffic and those whose interference with traffic results in the death of another individual. The House companion bill has been introduced by Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Providence, North Providence).



Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Most and Least Popular Politicians

The statewide poll conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University in October 2013 is the latest public opinion survey by the Ivy League institution.  

See how elected officials fared in Brown polls in years past BELOW.  

Prev Next

Mayor Angel Taveras


October 2013: 63.9%

October 2012: 65.6%

December 2011: 51.7%

Prev Next

Treasurer Gina Raimondo


October 2013: 54.2%

October 2012: 58.7%

December 2011: 52%

Prev Next

Senator Jack Reed


October 2013: 51.6%

October 2012: 58.5%

December 2011: 46.4%

July 2010: 55.6%

December 2009: 56.3%

September 2008: 68%

September 2007: 61%

September 2006: 70%

September 2005: 65%

June 2004: 63%

September 2003: 62%

Prev Next

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse


October 2013: 39.4%

October 2012: 45.4%

December 2011: 33.6%

July 2010: 42.8%

December 2009: 43.7%

September 2008: 46.2%

September 2007: 41%

Prev Next

Rep. Jim Langevin


October 2013: 38.7%

October 2012: 41%

December 2011: 41.9%

July 2010: 54.6%

December 2009: 46%

September 2008: 51.2%

September 2007: 55%

September 2006: 56%

September 2005: 62%

June 2004: 56%

September 2003: 56%

Prev Next

AG Peter Kilmartin



October 2013: 35.6%

October 2012: 35.8%

December 2011: 34.5%

July 2010: 20.2%

Prev Next

Sec. of State Mollis


October 2013: 35.6%

October 2012: 28.6%

December 2011: 25.6%

July 2010: 32.6%

December 2009: 22.6%

September 2008: 24.1%

September 2007: 23%

Prev Next

Lt. Governor Roberts


October 2013: 32.9%

October 2012: 37.5%

December 2011: 32.8%

July 2010: 33.5%

December 2009: 22.4%

September 2008: 24%

September 2007: 37%

Prev Next

Rep. David Cicilline


October 2013: 26.6%

October 2012: 29.7%

December 2011: 24.3%

*July 2010: 40.3%

*December 2009: 40.8%

*September 2008: 46%

*September 2007: 64%

*September 2006: 58%

*September 2005: 60%

*June 2004: 61%

*September 2003: 67%

* As Mayor of Providence

Prev Next

Sen. President Paiva-Weed

October 2013: 23.5%

October 2012: 26.2%

December 2011: 24.1%

July 2010: 21.4%

December 2009: 19%


Prev Next

Governor Lincoln Chafee

October 2013: 23%

October 2012: 28.5%

December 2011: 27.4%

*September 2006: 51%

*September 2005: 54%

*June 2004: 56%

*September 2003: 50%

* As U.S. Senator

Prev Next

Speaker Fox


October 2013: 20.5%

October 2012: 18.3%

December 2011: 25.9%

July 2010: 20.2%


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