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Previous RI Legislative News

RI Legislative Update

Recent Results of Hearings on Legislation Being Followed This Session

Senate Bill No. 2446 

BY  Ruggerio, McCaffrey, Goodwin, Gallo, DiMario, Kallman, Miller, Burke, Sosnowski, Lawson

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION ACT (Creates the “Plastic Waste Reduction Act” designed to reduce the use of plastic bags by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options and providing penalties for violations.)

{LC5097/1}

03/01/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommends passage

04/05/2022 Placed on Senate Calendar (04/07/2022)

04/07/2022 Senate read and passed

House Bill No. 8038

BY  McEntee, Craven, Morales, Caldwell

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS — FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES (Prohibits an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or employee, to commit any act declared to be an unlawful employment practice; individuals would be held personally liable for such conduct.)

{LC5445/1}

03/23/2022 Introduced, referred to House Labor

04/01/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (04/07/2022)

04/07/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Senate Bill No. 2310 

BY  Lawson, McCaffrey, DiMario, Goodwin, Valverde, Kallman, Pearson, Euer, Cano, DiPalma

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN SERVICES — PUBLIC ASSISTANCE ACT (Allows for new SNAP incentives for fruits and vegetables.)

{LC4363/1}

02/15/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/29/2022)

03/29/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Senate Bill No. 2050

BY  Miller, Valverde, Euer, DiMario, Seveney

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS — DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE CONTAINERS (Prohibits a covered establishment from preparing, selling, processing or providing food or beverages in or on a disposable food service container that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.)

{LC3761/1}

01/25/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Senate Bill No. 2130

BY  Lawson, Euer, Cano, Burke, Murray, DiMario, Kallman, Ciccone, F Lombardi

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS — THE “COMMUTER TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS ACT” (Establishes the commuter transportation benefit act. Employers with five hundred (500) or more employees provide a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit program or provide transportation to the employees.)

{LC3414/1}

01/25/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Labor

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Senate Bill No. 2296

BY  Valverde, Miller, Euer, Kallman, DiMario, Anderson, Calkin, Seveney, Coyne, DiPalma

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY — EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY FOR PACKAGING (Creates the producer responsibility program requiring producers to make necessary changes to product design(s) to reduce packaging consumption and waste and assess fees based on the packaging.)

{LC3970/1}

02/15/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Senate Bill No. 2300

BY  Valverde, Euer, Miller, DiMario, Calkin, Gallo, Sosnowski, Kallman, Lawson, Murray

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY — BEVERAGE CONTAINER DEPOSIT RECYCLING ACT OF 2022 (Creates a refundable ten cent ($0.10) deposit for non-reusable beverage containers. A four cent ($0.04) handling fee would be paid by distributors.)

{LC4646/1}

02/15/2022 Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

House Bill No. 7852

BY  Bennett

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY — ECONOMIC AND CLIMATE RESILIENCE ACT OF 2022 (Establishes a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island.)

{LC5093/1}

03/04/2022 Introduced, referred to House Environment and Natural Resources

03/25/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/30/2022)

03/30/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

House Bill No. 7362 

BY  Quattrocchi, Roberts, Nardone, Filippi, Price

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HOLIDAYS AND DAYS OF SPECIAL OBSERVANCE WORK ON HOLIDAYS AND SUNDAYS – GENERAL ELECTION DAY (Adds general election days to the list of holidays, in order to allow registered voters to cast their votes.)

{LC4114/1}

02/04/2022 Introduced, referred to House State Government & Elections

03/18/2022 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/24/2022)

03/24/2022 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

In Other Legislative News:

Last Tuesday, the Legislative Black and Latino Caucus held a news conference where its all-Democratic membership rolled out their priorities for the year, and criminal-justice reform was a centerpiece — including measures to ban cash bail for misdemeanors, restrict officers’ use of force, and revamp the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. “This legislative package will address the struggles and hardships that too many of our residents of color are sadly experiencing,” said Rep. Karen Alzate, chair of the caucus. 

The same day, Democratic Deputy House Speaker Charlene Lima announced she is filing a bill to institute mandatory 10-year prison sentences without parole for “smash-and-grab” retail robberies, and mandatory one-year sentences for ATV riders. “My legislation takes away the power of these soft woke prosecutors and judges and gives the power back to the victims of these violent crimes,” Lima said, adding, “We need strong laws not ‘woke’ laws soft on crime with indifference to the victims.”

Update On the 2022 Elections: Fundraising

The race to replace Jim Langevin in the 2nd Congressional District is coming into sharper focus now that candidates have begun revealing how they fared in the campaign’s first fundraising quarter. Seth Magaziner solidified his status as the financial frontrunner among the Democrats, announcing a $1.4 million haul over less than three months. Magaziner’s rivals aren’t wrong to point out he had a head start, since he could ask donors to transfer over state-level contributions he got for his gubernatorial campaign into his federal account. But money is money, and Magaziner will have plenty. 

In second place was Sarah Morgenthau, who said she took in about $420,000. It reinforces the conventional wisdom about Morgenthau’s candidacy: that despite having no track record in Rhode Island electoral politics, she could have the financial resources to get her name out among voters. The other Democrat offering a total was Joy Fox, who raised $175,000 — reinforcing her underdog status, but a strong enough number to keep her in the hunt for now. Fox’s advisers hope she’ll stand out with voters as the candidate most deeply rooted in the 2nd District. 

The other three Democrats who’ve filed in the race — Omar Bah, Cameron Moquin and Michael Neary — haven’t released fundraising totals, but aren’t expected to be in the same financial league as the top four. Campaigns are often compared to marathons, but contest feels like it’s just getting started, yet voters go to the polls in barely five months.

The financial gap in the Republican primary for the 2nd District is even wider than it is for the Democrats. Allan Fung reported raising $500,000 in the quarter, more than seven times as much as rival Jessica de la Cruz, and also more than any Democrat save Seth Magaziner. De la Cruz said she took in $65,000, significantly less than the $100,000 in pledges she said she had back in January. (Fung and de la Cruz both say they also made personal loans to their campaigns; fellow GOP hopeful Bob Lancia hasn’t announced his totals.) 

Political analyst Joe Fleming pointed out that the GOP primary could be decided by just 20,000 ballots, and even if she’s at a heavy financial disadvantage de la Cruz could have a path if she can reach enough voters. 

But she will also have to offset Fung’s residual strength in Cranston, which could matter even more than money when it comes to the primary. For Fung, the big fundraising number could help convince Republicans in Washington he has a serious chance of making a run at the seat this November — which could bring in more money down the road, whether direct to his campaign or to supportive outside groups. 

Deb Ruggiero’s decision to challenge Sabina Matos in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor signals there could be a real race for Rhode Island’s No. 2 job this summer. Dan McKee tapped Matos, then Providence City Council president, when he vacated the position last year to become governor, and she has been a regular presence at his side over the past year. 

Matos had already drawn a primary opponent in Cynthia Mendes, who is running an outsider campaign alongside gubernatorial hopeful Matt Brown, aimed at more leftist voters. But Ruggiero comes from inside the state’s traditional Democratic Party establishment, evidenced by how she almost immediately touted an endorsement from Speaker Shekarchi (who, as Joe Fleming noted, controls the state party nomination). 

Ruggiero is putting a focus on senior citizens in her campaign platform, arguing the state needs to do more on things like home care due to its aging population. It’s part of what she calls her “four E’s” — the economy, education, the environment, and elders. Matos has hired Kristina Contreras Fox and Mike Raia among others to help get up and running. Two Republicans are also seeking the No. 2 job, Paul Pence Jr. and Jeann Lugo, but history is against them: Rhode Island voters haven’t elected a Republican as lieutenant governor since 1966, when Joseph O’Donnell rode then-Gov. John Chafee’s coattails to win. 

Note: Information obtained from WPRI and WJAR legislative news sources

 

August 2020 RI Legislative Update

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November/December 2018 RI Legislative Update

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June 2015 RI Legislative Update

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March 2015 Positive Outcomes from RIFDA Initiatives

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November 2013 RI Legislative Update

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September 2012 RI Legislative Update

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