April 13, 2018

Legislative Press Bureau at (401) 528-1743

                       

 

 

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

 

 

§  Sandra Cano sworn into Rhode Island Senate

Sen. Sandra Cano was sworn into the Rhode Island Senate at a ceremony in the Senate Lounge at the State House. She is the first Colombian-American to be elected to the Rhode Island Senate. Senator Cano, a Democrat who represents District 8 in Pawtucket, was surrounded by family, friends, legislators and other dignitaries as she took the oath of office, administered by Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Gun control legislation passes the House of Representatives

Two pieces of gun control legislation passed the House of Representatives.  The House overwhelmingly passed legislation (2018-H 7688Aaa) that would create a means for the courts to protect against individuals who pose a significant danger of causing imminent harm to themselves or others by possessing a firearm. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) and House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston).  The measure now heads to the Senate where similar legislation (2018-S 2492) has been introduced by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence). The House also passed Rep. Robert E. Craven’s (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) legislation (2018-H 7075Aaa) banning “bump stocks” on semi-automatic firearms. Bump stocks are attachments to semi-automatic weapons that allow the shooter to fire at a much more increased rate of fire, effectively modifying a semi-automatic gun into an automatic weapon. Similar legislation (2018-S 2027, 2018-S 2271) sponsored by Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Bristol, Portsmouth, Tiverton) and Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, North Kingstown, Narragansett) is pending in the Senate.

Click here for red flag release

Click here for bump stock release

 

§  House passes Speaker’s bills empowering patients to curb opioid addiction
The House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation introduced by Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) that would empower patients to curb the possibility of opiate addiction. The first bill (2018-H 7416) would give patients the option of only partially filling their prescription for painkillers. It would allow a pharmacist to dispense a partial fill of a Schedule II controlled substance at the request of either the patient or the prescriber. The measure now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2541) has been introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence). The second bill (2018-H 7496A) would establish a procedure for individuals to file a revocable voluntary non-opiate directive form with the patient’s licensed health care practitioner. The form would indicate to all practitioners that the patient would not be administered or offered a prescription or medication order for an opiate. The measure now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2539) has been introduced by Senator Miller.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Maldonado bill to protect DACA Dreamers in Rhode Island
The House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) that would continue to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors. The legislation (2018-H 7982A) would continue the status quo relating to operator and chauffeur’s licenses to approved recipients under the DACA program. It would also provide that the issuance of a Rhode Island operator's license would not confer the right to vote in the state of Rhode Island. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2678) has been introduced by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate marks Equal Pay Day by passing bills to address wage gaps

The Senate marked Equal Pay Day by passing the Fair Pay Act (2018-S 2475Aaa),  sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) to provide protections and transparency in the workplace to help women and people of color demand equal pay for equal work. It also passed a bill (2018-S 2638A) sponsored by Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) to collect data from employers of 100 or more people in Rhode Island to identify industries and areas where pay gaps occur. The bills now go to the House, where Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) is sponsoring the Fair Pay Act (2018-H 7427).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Ackerman bill to stop fees for security freeze services
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2018-H 7604) introduced by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) that would prevent consumer report agencies from charging fees to those who choose to put a security freeze on their credit reports. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2562) has been introduced by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House passes Mattiello legislation to improve school safety
The House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) to examine the safety of Rhode Island’s schools and to ensure that school safety plans are adopted in each school department. The bill (2018-H 7694A) would codify the existence of the Rhode Island School Safety Committee into state law, and require that school districts provide the committee with safety assessments every three years for review and recommendations. The measure now moves to the State Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2639) has been introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Deputy Speaker Lima’s Research Animal Retirement Act passes House

Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima’s (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) legislation (2018-H 7414), the Research Animal Retirement Act, was passed by the House of Representatives.  The act would require educational institutions using dogs or cats for medical research to make animals no longer useful for research available for adoption.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Lynch Prata and Rep. Craven’s revenge porn and sextortion bill passes

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata’s (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) legislation (2018-S 2581A) that criminalizes revenge porn and sextortion was passed by the Senate.  Rep. Robert E. Craven’s (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) companion legislation (2018-H 7452A) was passed by the House of Representatives.  Revenge porn is sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual. Revenge porn is uploaded by former lovers or hackers for the purpose of humiliation and exploitation.  The legislation includes language that requires intent to harm the victim must be established during prosecution.

Click here for Senate release

Click here for House release

 

§  House OKs Phillips bill to streamline commercial driver’s license process
The House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Rep. Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) that would streamline the process to acquire a commercial driver’s license. The legislation (2018-H 7251A) would permit the use of an electronic means of transmission of the medical certificate required for the issuance of a commercial driver’s license by the Division of Motor Vehicles. The measure now heads to the Senate, where the Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs is considering similar legislation (2018-S 2763A) introduced by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).
Click here to see news release.

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our website at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

                       

                                   

 

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FBI agent Peter Strzok [[ struck ]] is being criticized for exchanging anti-Trump texts with his girlfriend during the presidential campaign in 2016. In a tweet today, Trump accused former FBI Director James Comey [[ COE-me ]] of giving Strzok his "marching orders." Strzok served as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's [[ MULL-er ]] lead agent on the Russia probe until last July.        Attorney General Jeff Sessions says parents are putting their kids at risk by trying to smuggle them into the United States. At a law enforcement summit in New Orleans today, Sessions insisted the Trump administration doesn't want to separate migrant children from their parents when crossing the border. Sessions argued that the kids are getting good care.        The FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is the hot topic on Capitol Hill today. FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz are testifying in a Senate hearing today and a House hearing tomorrow. After an 18-month investigation, Horowitz accused the FBI and the Justice Department of mishandling the Clinton probe.        At least five people are dead following a high speed chase involving Border Patrol agents in South Texas. The SUV that was fleeing Border Patrol agents was going about 100 miles-per-hour when a Dimmitt County Sheriff's deputy took over the chase near Big Wells, southwest of San Antonio. It ended up flipping and 12 of the 14 people riding in the vehicle were ejected from it. Authorities say the driver and one passenger are U.S. citizens, but 12 others were illegal immigrants.       Heather Locklear is in the hospital undergoing a psychological evaluation after reportedly trying to kill herself. TMZ reports the actress was taken to the hospital yesterday afternoon after a family member says she was trying to find a gun to shoot herself. This comes following Locklear's arrest earlier this year, where she allegedly attacked her boyfriend and then threatened to shoot responding officers if they ever came back to her home.        The websites of tobacco companies now have to have court-ordered warnings about the health effects of nicotine and smoking. The warnings are officially called "corrective statements" and are required to address some topics that include second-hand smoke and the enhanced delivery of nicotine. The statements were ordered as part of a 2006 federal court decision that found major cigarette manufacturers defrauded the public about the health risks of tobacco products.