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

 

 

§  House OKs Fogarty bill that would felonize third domestic violence charge
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7744) introduced by Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown) that would punish a perpetrator’s third domestic violence violation as a felony. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2024-S 2932) has been introduced by Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).
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§  House OKs bill for mixed-use, multifamily housing in local zoning ordinances
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7981Aaa) introduced by Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) that aims to increase the housing supply by requiring municipalities to allow for duplexes, mixed-use development and multifamily housing in certain areas of each municipality. The bill is part of a 15-bill package of legislation regarding housing issues that Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi announced in March. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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§  Senate OKs bill that would make it illegal to charge seniors for paper invoices
The Senate passed legislation (2024-S 2278A) introduced by Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain that would make it illegal to charge fees to senior citizens for paper invoices. The violation of this provision would be a deceptive trade practice subject to a $500 fine. The measure now moves to the House, where Rep. Brandon T. Voas (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) has introduced similar legislation (2024-H 7940).
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§  Senate passes Felag bill to allow breweries to sell 1/6th kegs to public

The Senate approved legislation (2024-S 2695) sponsored by Sen. Walter S. Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) that would allow for the holder of a manufacturer’s license to sell one one-sixth barrel keg of malt beverage produced on the premises per day to consumers. The bill now heads to the House, where Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) introduced the legislation (2024-H 7842).

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§  House passes Marszalkowski bill that exempts court fees for crime victims

The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7800) sponsored by Rep. Alex D. Marszalkowski (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland) that would exempt crime victims seeking restitution from having to pay certain court fees. The bill would waive the payment of filing fees and service of process costs when the victim of a crime is still owed restitution at the expiration of a criminal case. The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield) has introduced the bill (2024-S 2115A).

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§  Senate OKs ballot measure for ‘equitable, adequate and meaningful’ education
The Senate passed legislation (2024-S 2147) sponsored by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) to place a question on the next statewide ballot asking voters to amend the state constitution with a legally enforceable guarantee of “an equitable, adequate and meaningful education to each child.” The legislation now goes to the House, where Rep. Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket) is sponsoring companion legislation (2024-H 7396).
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§  House approves Cortvriend bill to preserve public rights of way
The House approved legislation (2024-H 7645A) sponsored by Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) to enable cities and towns to affordably preserve public access paths and trails through “qualified abandonment,” a designation that allows municipalities to abandon roads or paths they no longer wish to maintain, but with easements that maintain the public’s access rights. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) is sponsoring companion legislation (2024-S 2641).
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§  Senate approves Gallo bills for universal pre-K, limits on K-2 class size
The Senate approved two bills sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) to set Rhode Island on a path to offering universal free prekindergarten to 3- and 4-year-olds and expanding child care access for younger children (2024-S 2843), and setting a 20-student limit for kindergarten through Grade 2 classrooms in public schools (2024-S 2148). The bills now go to the House, where Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) is sponsoring the pre-K bill (2024-H 7497).
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§  Senate OKs DiMario Renewable Ready bill

The Senate passed a bill (2024-S 2293) sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) to ensure renewable energy projects, such as solar farms, are built without increasing electric rates or clearing Rhode Island’s forests. The bill now heads to the House, where Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) has introduced companion legislation (2024-H 7616). Click here to see news release.

 

§  House approves Ackerman consumer protection bill for solar industry

The House approved legislation (2024-H 7603A) sponsored by Deputy Majority Whip Mia A. Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) to protect consumers and ensure a healthy solar industry by regulating businesses selling home solar systems. The bill now moves to the Senate, which has already passed companion legislation (2024-S 2801Aaa) introduced by Sen. Jacob Bissaillon (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

Click here to see news release.

 

 

Former President Donald Trump is in Washington, D.C. huddling with Republican lawmakers. Trump told reporters today Republicans are unified and he expects to take back the White House in November. He said he plans to "bring common sense back to the government" and secure the southern border if he wins the election.        The Supreme Court is keeping widely used abortion pill mifepristone [[ mif-ah-pris-tone ]] available to Americans. The high court unanimously ruled that a group of anti-abortion doctors who challenged the FDA's actions to make mifepristone [[ mif-ah-pris-tone ]] more accessible did not have legal standing to sue and threw out the case. The ruling will allow the pill to be mailed to patients without an in-person doctor's visit.       Wisconsin Republicans are coming to the defense of Donald Trump after the former President allegedly criticized Milwaukee during a meeting with Congressional Republicans. Punchbowl News reported that Trump called Milwaukee a "horrible city." Wisconsin Congressman Derrick Van Orden said Trump was specifically referring to the crime rate in Milwaukee, while Representative Bryan Steil said Trump didn't say the comment at all. This comes as Milwaukee is set to host the Republican National Convention next month.       There are growing fears in the U.S. that the Israeli-Hamas war is widening. This as attacks between Israel and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah are increasing. The Iran-backed group has been shelling Israel's northern border in retaliation for Israel's assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander. Israel has since sent fighter jets to hit "Hezbollah military structures."       A U.S. Navy submarine is now in Cuba a day after two Russian war ships arrived at the Havana Port. The U.S. Southern Command confirmed the USS Helena arrived at Guantanamo Bay Thursday. It said it's part of a routing port visit and the vessel's location and transit were previously planned. The arrival of a Russian frigate and submarine at the Havana Port has been seen as a show of force by the longtime ally of Cuba, but both the U.S. and Cuba said it posed no threat.       The Eagles are next in line to play the Sphere in Las Vegas. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will play a total of eight shows over four weekends at the cutting edge venue this fall. The residency will kick off on September 20th and end on October 19th. U2 opened the venue last year and have been followed by residencies from Phish and Dead & Company.