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This 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

 

 

§  General Assembly convenes 2019 session
The General Assembly began its 2019 session with 14 new representatives in the House and seven new senators. Democrats increased their ranks by two members in the House, which is now made up of 66 Democrats and nine Republicans. The Senate remains at 33 Democrats and five Republicans. More women were elected to both chambers. The House, which had 23 women in the previous term, now includes 26 women, and the Senate includes 16, up from 13 at the end of the previous session.

§  Mattiello re-elected Speaker of the House for new term
Rep. Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) was re-elected speaker of the house for the 2019-20 legislative session. First elected to the House in 2006, Speaker Mattiello was elected to lead the chamber in March 2014 after having served as Democratic majority leader since 2010.
Click here to see news release.

§  Ruggerio re-elected President of the Senate

Sen. Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) was re-elected to the office of president during opening day ceremonies in the Rhode Island Senate. He was first elected to the position in March 2017, and began his first full term in the chamber’s top post after being sworn into office. He previously served as Senate majority leader.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate re-elects Metts as president pro tempore, Crowley as deputy

The Rhode Island Senate re-elected Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) as president pro tempore and Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) as deputy president pro tempore during the opening day ceremonies of the Senate. 

Click here to see news release.

 

§  House Democratic Caucus re-elects Majority Leader Shekarchi and team

The House Democratic Caucus in November elected Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) as majority leader for the 2019-20 legislative session. The caucus also elected Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) as majority whip, Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence) as deputy majority whip, Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) as deputy speaker; Rep. Brian P. Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) as speaker pro tempore; and Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) as Democratic Caucus chairwoman.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  House Republicans elect Minority Leader Filippi, Whip Chippendale

The House Republicans in November elected Rep. Blake A. Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) as minority leader for the 2019-20 legislative session. The caucus also elected Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry) as minority whip, Rep. Justin K. Price (R-Dist. 39, Richmond, Hopkinton, Exeter) as senior deputy minority leader, Rep. Sherry Roberts (R. Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) as deputy whip; and Rep. Robert Quattrocchi (R-Dist. 41, Scituate, Cranston) as deputy minority leader.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate Democrats re-elect Majority Leader McCaffrey

Senate Democrats in November re-elected Sen. Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) as majority leader for the 2019-20 legislative session.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate Republicans re-elect Minority Leader Algiere, Whip Morgan

Senate Republicans in November re-elected Sen. Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) as minority leader for the 2019-20 legislative session. The caucus also named Sen. Elaine J. Morgan (R-Dist. 34, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich) as minority whip and Sen. Thomas J. Paolino, (R-Dist. 17, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield) as senior deputy minority leader.

Click here to see news release.

 

House names Rules Committee
House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello appointed the 17-member House Rules Committee, which will be led by Chairman Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence). The committee will discuss and propose to the full House membership a set of rules and procedures for the chamber in the 2019-2020 session.                 

                                   

 

 

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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 President is responding to House Speaker's request asking him to delay the State of the Union in light of the government shutdown. President Trump announced that Pelosi's planned trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed. He said his administration will "reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over."        A judge is ruling that three officers accused of lying about the deadly shooting of an African American teenager in Chicago in 2014 are not guilty. Thomas Gaffney, David March and Joseph Walsh were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct for allegedly lying about Officer Jason Van Dyke's killing of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder in the 17-year-old's death.       A 14-year-old boy with an airsoft gun was reportedly a burglary suspect who was fatally shot by police in Arizona. Police say an officer saw the suspect burglarizing a car yesterday afternoon, and watched him leave the vehicle with a gun and some other items. The officer pursued the suspect and gave verbal commands, and shot the teen when he perceived a threat.        It's still unclear who will get 50 thousand-dollars in reward money in the case of a kidnapped Wisconsin teenager. Jayme Closs escaped last week after nearly 90 days in captivity. The 13-year-old was kidnapped after police say Jake Patterson killed both of her parents. The Kasinskas family who took in Jayme immediately after her escape say they don't want the money.        A bill that would ban abortions in Utah after 15 weeks is being sponsored by a state lawmaker. Republican Representative Cheryl Acton of West Jordan filed a bill yesterday that would change the current restriction on abortions by five weeks. Acton's bill would keep exceptions in the current law that allow abortions for rape, incest or complications that threaten the health of the mother and the unborn.        Actress Betty White is celebrating her 97th birthday today. An acquaintance tells Closer Weekly that she'll be celebrating with a low key party with good food, music and close friends. The former Golden Girls star reportedly has some mobility challenges, but still has a sharp mind doing crossword and staying current with news and entertainment.