At the General Assembly


Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly last week. For more information on any of these items visit

Rep. McNamara bill would require carbon monoxide detectors in schools

Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7041) that would require all school buildings where students are in attendance to have carbon monoxide detectors installed and maintained. The act would also authorize the Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review to promulgate rules and regulations to enforce the provisions of the requirement.

Rep. Shanley wants panel to study creating office of inspector general

Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced a resolution (2018-H 7245) that would create a nine-member special study commission whose purpose would be to make a comprehensive study of the benefits, ramifications/fiscal impact, cost and appointment process for creating the office of an inspector general.

Rep. Kennedy resolution asks PUC to revisit rate hike approval

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution (2018-H 7256) introduced by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly), Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, that requests the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to provide immediate rate relief to Rhode Islanders by reopening the dockets for all recently approved electric and gas rate increases from which National Grid will realize tax savings this year.

Rep. Edwards takes aim at Rhode Island’s archaic laws

House Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) is looking to wipe out the state’s archaic laws one by one. In addition to several acts of repeal, he has introduced legislation (2018-H 7220) that would create the Joint Committee of the Repealer, which would effectively compile suggestions for repeal of statutes and regulations that are archaic and out of date.

Rep. Nardolillo wants greater penalties on illegal cars in handicapped spaces

Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28, Coventry) will introduce legislation to increase penalties on drivers who knowingly park in designated handicapped spaces without a placard.

Senate President Ruggerio bill encourages settlements in pension bankruptcy

President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) re-submitted legislation (2018-S 2112) that would encourage court settlements in the event claims are made as part of the St. Joseph Health Services pension fund bankruptcy case.  The legislation encourages parties to enter into a settlement.

Sen. Calkin, Rep. Regunberg introduce single-payer health care bill

Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) and Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick) announced their introduction of legislation (2018-H 7285) to provide all Rhode Islanders access to affordable health care by establishing a single-payer health care system in the state. If passed, the bill would make Rhode Island the first state with universal health care.

Sen. Goldin, Rep. Ajello: R.I. must protect women’s rights

This week marked the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, and Rep. Edith Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) introduced legislation (2018-S 2163) to finally wipe off Rhode Island’s books unconstitutional laws that contradict the abortion rights affirmed by the landmark case.

Rep. Corvese bill would create animal abuse registry

Rep. Arthur Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7025) to create a statewide animal abuser registry aimed at preventing those with a history of mistreating animals from obtaining other animals.

Sen. Goodwin bill would weigh local impact of waste management facilities

Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) is calling upon state officials to reject a proposal to site a transfer station in Pawtucket’s Fairlawn neighborhood, adjacent to her district, and has introduced a bill (2018-S 2026) requiring the state to consider the impact on surrounding neighborhoods before approving such facilities.


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Carbon monoxide detectors in every school and calamari in every appetizer pot

Tuesday, February 6, 2018