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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Trump says he won't do any deals with congressional Democrats until investigations of him are finished. Trump is angry about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's accusation that he is engaging in a cover-up. She made that remark after a closed door meeting with House Democrats on the Trump investigations and the possibility of opening impeachment proceedings.        Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is shocked at President Trump's decision to walk away from negotiations about infrastructure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared in a Capitol briefing with Schumer today, stating that she is praying for both the President and the Country. Schumer said he doesn't think Trump was serious about renovations to the country's highways, bridges, rails and airports.       Over 60 counties in Oklahoma are under an executive order for the disaster following heavy rain over the last several days has lead to historic flooding. Governor Kevin Stitt says he is surprised by the amount of flooding in some parts of the state. The Arkansas River has been inundated with water due to the rain, as some areas have seen the river rise around 36-feet above flood stage that beat the record set back in 1978.        The man known as the American Taliban will start his journey to freedom soon. Federal prison officials say John Walker Lindh will be released from the prison in Indiana tomorrow. U.S. Forces captured Lindh in Afghanistan after the attacks on September 11th and he pleaded guilty in 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.        Florida's governor is ordering a review of elections systems security and cyber security after learning that two of his state's counties were hacked by the Russians in 2016. Although the breaches did not affect the outcome of the election, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis says he wants to ensure Florida's election infrastructure is protected at the state and local level.        The 70s sitcoms, All in the Family and The Jeffersons, are being revived live on ABC TV tonight. The 90-minutes special, hosted by the shows' producer Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel, will feature an all-star cast including Jamie Foxx, Woody Harrelson, Wanda Sykes and Marisa Tomei. The two shows' living room sets have been re-created side-to-side on a sound stage in Los Angeles.