Sen. McCaffrey, Rep. Kazarian to Introduce Legislation to Streamline Marriage Solemnizations, Remove Legislature from Process

 

STATE HOUSE — Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) and House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) plan to introduce legislation that would authorize the governor to designate any person to solemnize a marriage.

As it currently stands, only the General Assembly can authorize individuals to solemnize a marriage.

“It is an inconvenience to the people of Rhode Island that they need to seek a formal act of law just because they want a friend or family member to officiate at their wedding,” said Leader McCaffrey. “Votes and committee meetings are also a very inefficient way to handle what amounts to a clerical task. Getting married should be a joyous occasion, and there’s no reason the state needs to bog it down with red tape.”

The act would allow the governor to designate any person who is eligible to vote to solemnize a marriage within the state on a particular day and within a particular city or town. The authorization would expire upon completion of the marriage. A fee in the amount of $25 would be a prerequisite and would be payable to the secretary of state, or a fee of $20 for applications that are submitted electronically.

“This bill will modernize the process by placing it online and ensuring that it’s available to all Rhode Islanders year round,” said Whip Kazarian.  “Some time ago, I was contacted by a constituent in July about their nuptials scheduled for September.  Unfortunately, the General Assembly had already concluded its session for the year and there was no other alternative possible.  It broke my heart when I had to tell my constituent there was nothing I could do to ensure their perfect wedding with the officiant of their choice and this is why this legislation is needed to modernize our system in Rhode Island.”

A third COVID vaccine could hit the U.S. market soon. Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine is being endorsed by F-D-A staff for emergency use. It could get the F-D-A's official stamp of approval after an advisory committee reviews the company's emergency use authorization request on Friday.        Tiger Woods is recovering from surgery after being injured in a car accident yesterday morning. Doctors reportedly inserted a rod and screws in his right leg below the knee to stabilize what they called multiple open fractures in the two main bones in the lower leg. The crash also broke bones in the 45-year-old's right foot and ankle.       The nearly two-trillion-dollar stimulus bill is drawing criticism from House Republican leaders. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the Democratic measure is "too costly, too corrupt and too liberal," while Minority Whip Steve Scalise [[ skall-EESE ]] called it a liberal wish list. Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a relief package providing 600-dollar stimulus payments to low-income Californians.       Bruce Springsteen is having some of his drunk driving charges dropped and is pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Springsteen appeared in court by video conference on charges of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area after allegedly drinking with fans at a parking lot in Sandy Hook, New Jersey back in November. The rocker pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in a closed area and was fined 540-dollars.       The House is assessing the mental health impact and physical damages following the January 6th Capitol attack. Democrat Tim Ryan of Ohio said Congress cannot "militarize" the Capitol in response to a ransacking of representative democracy. Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler [[ butler ]] of Washington state said Congress should assess what needs to be repaired, while also preserving marks from that day as a historical reminder.       Ghost restaurants are on the rise due to coronavirus. These are delivery only kitchens that may operate out of another brand's location. Restaurant tech expert Kristen Hawley says one kitchen might be operating as a chicken, pizza, burger and salad restaurant all at the same time.