State House view from the southThis week at the

General Assembly

 

STATE HOUSE — Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

  • Governor submits FY 2025 state budget proposal

Governor Daniel McKee submitted his FY 2025 state budget proposal to the General Assembly this week. The $13.7 billion proposal (2024-H 7225) was introduced by House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown). Both the House and Senate Finance Committees will hold public hearings on the budget proposal over the next several months. 

 

§  General Assembly hears State of the State address
Both houses of the General Assembly met in grand committee Tuesday to hear Gov. Daniel McKee’s State of the State address. Governor McKee spoke of last year’s accomplishments, including improved school attendance, a record number of jobs at Quonset, an improved fiscal outlook, and being among the best states in the nation to raise a family. He also spoke of his goal to improve RICAS scores and to raise per capita income $20,000 by 2030.
Click here to read the governor’s address.

 

§  Senate passes bill to name Amica Pavilion media room after Bill Reynolds
The Senate passed legislation (2024-S 2034) introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) that would name the media work room in the Amica Mutual Pavilion in honor of Bill Reynolds, the beloved Providence Journal columnist who died in July. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Evan Patrick Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick, East Greenwich) has introduced similar legislation (2024-H 7221).
Click here to see news release.

 

  • Sen. Lawson, Rep. Giraldo bill would expand parental, caregiving leave

Senate Majority Whip Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) and Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) are sponsoring legislation (2024-S 2121, 2024-H 7171) to expand Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) program from six weeks to 12 and expand the definition of a critically ill family member to include grandchildren, siblings and “care recipients.”
Click here to see news release.

 

  • Rep. Spears, Sen. Gu introduce coastal resiliency bill

Rep. Tina Spears (D-Dist. 36 Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly) and Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) are sponsoring legislation (2024-H 7022) to create and maintain a statewide coastal resiliency plan to address the effects of rising sea levels and increased flooding along Rhode Island’s rivers and coasts.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • East Bay legislators request I-195 West bridge updates

Several legislators representing the East Bay wrote to Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti to request regular updates concerning the reconstruction and repair of the I-195 West bridge. The letter requests regular detailed updates from RIDOT on the construction and repair of the I-195 westbound bridge and updates on the expected timeline for when the bridge will be fully operational.

Click here to see news release

 

  • DiMario, Alzate join organizations for same day voter registration rally

Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket, Central Falls) joined more than 30 community organizations from across Rhode Island at a rally in the State House in support of putting a question on the November 2024 ballot to allow Rhode Island to enact same day voter registration. Rhode Island’s current 30-day voter registration deadline is the longest in the nation.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Commission’s annual celebration held

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission held its annual celebration of the life of the great civil rights leader. The official holiday commemoration included remarks by commission members, state and religious leaders, several musical presentations, and a number of awards were presented. Deputy Speaker Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), who chairs the MLK State Holiday Commission that annually organizes and hosts the celebration, served as master of ceremonies.

                                   

Vice President Kamala Harris is headed to Arizona today after the state supreme court upheld a near-total ban on abortions that was put in place 160 years ago. She'll be in Tucson [[ Too-sahn ]] for an event focusing on abortion and the Biden administration's efforts to keep abortion legal.        Legal experts acknowledge O.J. Simpson's double-murder acquittal was in large part due to attorney Johnny Cochran's skilled defense. He convinced the jury of his innocence, concluding the case with his famous line "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." This was in reference to Simpson appearing unable to fit a pair of bloody leather gloves found at the murder scene in the courtroom. Simpson didn't have any other run-ins with the law until 2008.       An updated report on the severe storms that tore across the state of Mississippi earlier this week now finds at least two people were killed and six others injured. That, from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, which also reported over 170 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed across multiple counties.        House Speaker Mike Johnson is set to make an appearance alongside Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Reports say the two will hold a news conference today focused on election integrity. The former president has repeatedly claimed the 2020 election was rigged against him. The event comes as Johnson faces threats from some conservative Republicans to oust him as speaker if he moves forward with Ukraine funding.       The New York City Council is approving a bill that requires the FDNY to provide EMS workers with bulletproof vests. Legislation passed Thursday by the City Council also includes special training for EMTs in response to an increase in attacks against first responders.        There's no evidence that COVID vaccines cause fatal heart attacks or other heart issues in young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. When the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna were distributed starting in 2020, anti-vax groups were quick to blame them for fatal heart issues in young athletes. A report out Thursday looked at 13-hundred deaths of vaccinated people ages 16 to 30 in Oregon who died of a heart condition or unknown causes in 2021 and 2022.