Readers are reminded these stories are written by people who work for the legislators.............--Ed.

 

 

 

June 14, 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

 

 

§  House, Senate pass bills from education reform legislation package
The Senate and House of Representatives approved bills that are part of a package of education reform legislation that was unveiled earlier this year. The first bill (2019-S 0863Aaa, 2019-H 5008A), sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) and Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) would require the commissioner of education to align statewide academic standards with curriculum and the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System. The second (2019-S 0869, 2019-H 6085) sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a fast-track program to certify new principals. In addition, the Senate passed a third bill (2019-S 0864A) sponsored by Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick) that would cause the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to become a professional support partner with local education agencies regarding effective ways to evaluate student improvement and proficiency. That measure now moves to the House, where similar legislation (2019-H 6111) has been introduced by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence).
Click here to see House release.

Click here to see Senate release.

 

§  Senate passes Conley bill to increase earned income tax credit
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0272) introduced by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) that would increase Rhode Island’s earned income tax credit from 15 percent to 20 percent for the tax years 2020 and beyond. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 5245) has been introduced by Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Vella-Wilkinson bill allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5549) introduced by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) that would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives, provided that the pharmacist has completed a training program approved by the state Board of Pharmacy. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate OKs ‘Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport’ renaming
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0855) introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) that would rename the state airport “Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.” The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 6149) has been introduced by Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate OKs Ruggerio bill to streamline development on large tracts of state land

The Senate passed legislation (2019-S-803Aaa) sponsored by President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that takes a new approach to economic development on large tracts of state land. Spurred by delays and impediments imposed upon the Hope Point Tower proposal for the I-195 Redevelopment District, the bill intends to create a more streamlined process for approvals on these state-owned parcels moving forward.

Click here to see news release

 

§  House OKs Edwards bill expanding support after overdose hospital visits
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5383) introduced by House Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) that would expand the Alexander C. Perry and Brandon Goldner Act on hospital discharge planning. The change will improve support for those hospitalized for drug overdoses and mental health emergencies by increasing the likelihood that their families or others wishing to assist them with treatment are aware of their hospitalization. The measure now moves to the Senate, which passed similar legislation (2019-S 0139A) introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate approves McCaffrey bill to curtail use of plastic straws in restaurants
The Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0202A) introduced by Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) that would prohibit a food service establishment from providing a consumer with a single-use plastic straw, unless the straw is from a self-service dispenser or the consumer requests such a straw. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2019-H 5314) has been introduced by Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate passes Sen. Coyne’s bills on Alzheimer’s care, elder abuse

The Senate has approved four bills sponsored Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) to better support Rhode Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease and to protect against elder abuse. One bill (2019-S 0223, 2019-H 5178), which is also sponsored in the House by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), would establish a program within the Department of Health dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease. Another bill (2019-S 0302A, 2019-H 5141), which is also sponsored in the House by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), allows the spouses or partners of patients residing in Alzheimer’s or dementia special care units or programs to live with them. The Senate also passed her bill (2019-S 0603A, 2019-H 5573), which is sponsored in the House by Rep. David E. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston), expanding a law that requires people to report elder abuse and neglect and her bill (2019-S 0845A, 2019-H 6114) requiring those who serve as guardians for other adults to pass nationwide background checks, which is sponsored in the House by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Reproductive Privacy Act approved by Senate Committee
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved the Reproductive Privacy Act (2019-H 5125B), sponsored by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence). The bill, which codifies the protections set forth by the Roe v. Wade decision and its progeny, now heads to the full Senate and must also return to the House for approval of amendments before it can go to the governor.

§  House Finance Committee expected to vote on FY 2020 state budget

The House Finance Committee was expected to vote on the FY 2020 state budget (2019-H 5151) on Friday night. Once passed by the committee, the entire House of Representatives will vote on the budget one week later due to House rules.

 

 

-30-

 

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 the impeachment inquiry is nonsense. The President said Democrats are disgraceful and are disrespecting the presidency. Trump singled out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for criticism, calling the impeachment inquiry part of an ongoing witch hunt.        Democrats claim President Trump had a "meltdown" in the first face-to-face meeting between him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi since the impeachment inquiry began. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer both said the President treated Pelosi disrespectfully. Pelosi said the President was shaken by an overwhelming bipartisan House vote to condemn his action.        Former Vice President Joe Biden says supporters should not worry about his fundraising numbers. Biden trailed other top Democratic presidential contenders in numbers reported to the Federal Elections Commission. Biden said he expects those numbers to improve.        There's good news for about 50-thousand GM workers. General Motors and United Auto Workers have reached a deal to end the strike. The proposal on a new four-year contract comes on day 31 of a strike that cost the company one and a half billion dollars. The union said the strike will continue until its UAW GM Council can vote on the proposed agreement, which it could do tomorrow.       Chelsea Clinton is not ruling out politics in the future, but said she won't run for Congress this year. She said on The View today that she would not seek the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey.        Tiger Woods is working on an autobiography. The book, appropriately titled "Back," will focus on his Tour Championship and Masters this year. It will also cover how he grew up and rose to fame. Woods says it'll describe how he feels and what's happened in his life.