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

 

 

 

 

 

§  Senate passes President Ruggerio’s unpaid wages bill

 

The Senate passed legislation (2017-S-0192A) sponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that would establish a procedure for employees to secure liens against employers for unpaid wages. Contested claims would be decided by the Superior Court. Similar legislation (2017-H 5847) has been introduced in the House by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls).

 

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§  House OKs Shekarchi bill to create course for parents of teens in driver’s ed
The House approved legislation sponsored by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) to establish a free educational course for parents of students in driver’s education classes. Under the bill (2017-H 5457A), the course would be available online and at various times and locations around the state, and parental participation would be a requirement for the issuance of a graduated license for a driver under 18, unless a parent has taken the course for a sibling within five years. Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, Johnston, North Providence) is sponsoring similar legislation (2017-S 0102) in the Senate.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate approves requirement for defibrillators in large public gathering spots
The Senate approved legislation (2017-S 0777) sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) to require an automated external defibrillator and a qualified person to administer it at all public places that hold 300 or more people.
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§  House approves bill for flooding and sea rise training for planning boards
The House approved legislation (2017-H 5042aa)
 sponsored by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) requiring all members of municipal planning boards or commissions in Rhode Island to participate in a free two-hour training program on the effects of rising sea levels and the effects of development in flood plains.

 

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§  Fogarty bill creating DEM freshwater overseer gets Senate nod
The Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Paul W. Fogarty (D-Dist. 23, Glocester, Burrillville, North Smithfield) to create a new position within the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to coordinate the stewardship of freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in Rhode Island. Rep. Cale P. Keable (D-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester) is sponsoring the legislation (2017-H 5174) in the House.
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§  House passes McNamara bill to ban advertising of unhealthy foods in school
The House passed legislation (2017-H 5580) sponsored by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would prohibit the advertising of unhealthy food and beverage products in schools, particularly those that may not be sold on the school campus during the school day, since they do not meet minimum federal governmental nutrition standards. Similar legislation (2017-S 0304) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham).
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§  Sen. Lynch Prata’s Gaspee Days license plate bill passes Senate

 

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata’s (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) legislation (2017-S 0363A) to create a special fundraising license plate to benefit the Gaspee Days Committee passed the Senate. The plate would include a $40 surcharge for those individuals ordering them, with $20 of that going to the Gaspee Days Committee and the other $20 going to the state’s general fund. Similar legislation (2017-H 5424) has been introduced in the House by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston).

 

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§  Rep. Morin bill would create student loan forgiveness program
The House Finance Committee heard legislation (2017-H 5169) introduced by Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) that would establish the “Get on Your Feet” student loan forgiveness program targeted at helping middle-income students afford the high cost of college by providing a grace period for the first two years after graduation. For those who meet the requirements, the state would pay the difference between what the federal government covers and the individual’s total loan payment.
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§  Rep. Vella-Wilkinson wants panel to study military sexual trauma
Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) has introduced legislation (2017-H 6218) that would create a five-member special legislative study commission whose purpose it would be to study and provide recommendations on potential policy, training, and/or preventative measures involving occurrences of military sexual trauma and harassment in the Rhode Island National Guard.
Click here to see news release.

 

 

 

§  Rep. Phillips bill would mandate 15 percent markup on cigarette retail price
Rep. Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) has introduced legislation (2017-H 5506) that would amend the existing Unfair Sales Practices law, which currently mandates a 6-percent markup on all retail costs, by requiring a 15-percent markup in the sale of cigarettes. Similar legislation (2017-S 0470) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Frank S. Lombardo III (D-Dist. 25, Johnston).
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 Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

The suspect in the deadly attack at a Tennessee Waffle House is in custody. The Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted: "Murder suspect Travis Reinking is in custody. Arrested moments ago." Police say Reinking shot and killed four people at a Waffle House on Sunday.        French President Emmanuel Macron [[ mah-CRONE ]] and his wife are in Washington, D.C. The Macrons will tour historic Mount Vernon, Virginia with the President and First Lady Melania Trump this evening. They will also have dinner at George Washington's estate. Tomorrow marks the start of an official state visit as the Macrons get a formal greeting at the White House.        Senator Joe Manchin says he will vote for CIA Director Mike Pompeo [[ pom-PAY-oh ]] to be the next secretary of state. The West Virginia Democrat tweeted today that he met with Pompeo and is impressed with the CIA director's "exemplary career in public service." Manchin is the second red state Democrat to support Pompeo.        Mitt Romney will have to face an opponent in a June primary election after failing to win the Utah Republican Party's nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch. The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee was unable to win 60 percent of the vote Saturday at the state Republican convention. He will face Utah state representative Mike Kennedy in a primary on June 26th.        Four people are injured after tornadoes and severe winds ripped through an RV park in southern Alabama. The National Weather Service says two tornadoes were tracked in Baldwin County yesterday. One caused widespread damage after it overturned five RVs about 20 miles southeast of Mobile. The tornado is part of a severe weather system that will hit the Southeast with heavy rain through the early part of this week.        "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is now on Broadway. The "New York Post" said they'd never seen anything quite like it, calling it Broadway magic. While the "New York Times" said the more-than-five-hour-long show, which is presented in two parts, is now the gold standard for fantasy franchise entertainment.