Senate Minority Office

 

Senate passes Rogers bill on Municipal Sidewalk Maintenance

STATE HOUSE The Senate today passed legislation (2024-S 2019) introduced by Minority Whip Senator Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich) that would require that all maintenance of sidewalks along state highways, with the exception of snow and ice removal, be the responsibility of the state.

Currently, the Director of Transportation has authority over sidewalks and curbs along state highways, but the burden of maintenance for those sidewalks lies primarily with the municipalities in which they are encompassed. This legislation transfers the responsibility for maintenance and repairs, with the exception for snow and ice removal, of sidewalks adjacent to state highways and roads to state government.

The Rhode League of Cities and Towns has expressed support for shifting the responsibility to the state in a letter to the House Finance Committee for similar legislation introduced in the House, citing, "that sidewalk maintenance is a vital public safety issue that should be addressed at the state level." Their key reasons for support include equity and consistency, public safety, financial relief for municipalities, and efficiency in maintenance.

Senator Rogers, who is Director of Public Works for the Town of Foster, stated, "This bill is crucial for public safety and essential for the equitable and consistent upkeep of sidewalks on state roads across varied and disparate municipal budget constraints."

"It makes sense that if a sidewalk is on a state road, it’s a state responsibility," said Senator Rogers. "With this legislation, we can level the playing field for municipalities, preserve infrastructure investments, and enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility."

Former President Trump has toured the stage at the Republican National Convention ahead of his speech Thursday. He did a walk-through this afternoon at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee as he's set to formally accept the Republican party's nomination for president. Tonight, Trump's running mate JD Vance will deliver remarks.       House Speaker Mike Johnson wants the director of the Secret Service to resign following the attempted assassination of former President Trump. Johnson told Fox News today that the security lapses at the Pennsylvania rally were inexcusable. He joins a growing list of lawmakers calling on the protective service's leader to step down.       Special Counsel Jack Smith is appealing the dismissal of former President Trump's federal case over his handling of classified documents. His team filed a notice of appeal Wednesday, well before the 30-day deadline. Judge Aileen Cannon tossed the case out Monday.       The Uvalde cop who was in charge when 19-students and two teachers were murdered in a school shooting is pleading "not guilty" to child endangerment charges. Pete Arredondo was the former Uvalde school district police chief. He's already been fired.       The lawyer for Terrell Davis says United Airlines' apology to the NFL Hall of Famer is not enough. Davis was taken off a flight in handcuffs last week after an incident with a flight attendant. United apologized to Davis and said it removed the flight attendant from duty, but his attorney told TMZ that they want real action on top of the apology, including an investigation.       The WNBA's new media rights deal will reflect the league's soaring popularity. The Athletic is reporting that the league is set to receive around 2.2-billion dollars over the next 11 years in rights fees from its new deals. That means that the WNBA will be bringing in an average of 200-million dollars per season and will be able to make as much as six-times the amount of its current contracts.