March 15, 2019

Legislative Press Bureau at (401) 528-1743

           

 

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

 

 

§  Rep. Speakman sworn in to House of Representatives
Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) was formally sworn in to the House of Representatives. She was elected March 5 in a special election to replace Laufton Ascençao, who was elected in November, but resigned before being inaugurated.
Click here to see news release.

§  General Assembly votes to allow mobile sports wagering
The General Assembly approved legislation (2019-S 0037A2019-H 5241A) introduced by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) that would allow mobile sports wagering through the Twin River casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton. The measure now heads to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate, House pass bills to collect sales tax from online retailers
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0251A) introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket), and the House passed legislation (2019-H 5278A) introduced by Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) that would extend the requirement to collect sales tax to remote sellers in a way that conforms to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision making it easier for states to compel collection of the sales tax from retailers who do not have a physical presence in their state. Each bill now moves to the opposite chamber.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. McNamara introduces homeowners bill of rights for solar energy
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation that would protect consumers by making sure that solar industry professionals are governed by fair business practices. The act (2019-H 5133) would require solar energy system retailers to provide disclosures in the retail sale or lease documents as well as the right to cancel or rescind the agreement within 90 days prior to installation, and notice of any liens filed against their residential property.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate unveils package of economic development bills
Senate leaders introduced “Building a More Vibrant Rhode Island,” a package of economic development bills. The legislative initiatives propose action in a number of areas, including development, workforce training, housing, education, solar energy and supporting small businesses and Rhode Island’s seafood industry.
Click here to see news release.
 

§  Speaker Mattiello’s bill creates teams at every school to prevent violence
House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) introduced legislation (2019-H 5538) to increase school safety by creating threat assessment teams in schools to serve as the “boots on the ground” in identifying potentially threatening behavior by those in the school community.
Click here to see news release.

§  Rep. Corvese files bill to protect gift card funds for consumers
Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5810) to protect consumers from losing the value of gift cards when a business closes. The legislation would require that businesses in the state hold funds from the sales of gift cards and gift certificates in an escrow account for at least three years, or until the card or certificate is redeemed, whichever comes first. 
Click here to see news release.

 

·         Rep. Alzate bill seeks to encourage persons of color to enter education careers

Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5553) that would create a nine-member special legislative commission to study and make recommendations for encouraging more persons of color to enter education fields.

Click here to see news release.

 

·         Rep. Barros named chairman of Legislative Black and Latino Caucus

Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket) has been elected as the new chairman of the Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus by his fellow caucus members. The previous co-chairs were Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) and Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket).  The caucus lists 15 legislators as members.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Sosnowski named chairwoman of re-established Fisheries Task Force
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) has re-established the Senate Task Force on Fisheries. The task force will be chaired by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), who also serves as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stocks continue to take a beating on Wall Street amid worries over the coronavirus. The major indexes logged their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis with the Dow down more than a thousand points earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 357 points to close at 25-409. The S&P 500 fell 24 points to 29-54. The Nasdaq gained less than a point to end the session at 85-67.        The U.S. is set to sign a deal with the Taliban to set the stage for ending America's longest war. President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [[ POM-pay-oh ]] to Qatar to witness the signing of a peace deal. The two sides have been fighting since 2001 and ending the Afghanistan War is one of Trump's 2016 campaign promises.       Bernie Sanders is attacking President Trump for holding a campaign rally instead of taking action on the coronavirus outbreak. Speaking to supporters in South Carolina, Sanders said the virus outbreak is "very frightening" and President Trump is not doing enough to collaborate with scientists and world leaders. He called Trump's efforts "pathetic."        Elizabeth Warren is making a last-minute appeal to South Carolinians before the state's primary. Speaking to supporters in Greenville, the Massachusetts senator said voters have the chance to build an America that brings out the best of our values. Warren touted herself as the woman who is going to beat President Trump. She called the past three years of Trump's administration "rugged" and voters need to get rid of him.       Harvey Weinstein is reportedly being treated for chest pains after being convicted of rape and sexual assault on Monday. NBC 4 New York reports the disgraced movie mogul will remain in custody until his sentencing on March 11th and will not ask to be released before then. He faces up-to-25-years in prison.       A group of people are planning to get married on Leap Day at a mass wedding ceremony in Hell, Michigan. The Reverend Yvonne Williams, who is officiating, says, "When you get married in Hell, there's nowhere for your marriage to go but up." The ceremony will fittingly take place at 2:29 p.m.