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3/22/2016 House passes Serpa legislation that would repeal antiquated law regulating itinerant vendors
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives has passed legislation introduced by Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) that would repeal a law regulating itinerant vendors.

The bill (2016-H 7590), which as the support of the general treasurer, would repeal the chapter of the General Laws regulating itinerant vendors and their various licensing requirements, responsibilities, and duties.

“This is simply the elimination of an unnecessary law,” said Representative Serpa, who serves as the chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee. “It would eliminate the requirement that iterant vendors pay fees of up to $500 and post a surety deposit of $1,000 to the Rhode Island Treasury. Repealing this antiquated law will cut down on a lot of red tape.”

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner told the House Small Business Committee that the law no longer seems necessary.

“The law was originally crafted in 1896 in a very different economy with very different notions about consumer protection, taxation and regulatory frameworks,” he said. “More than a century ago, Treasury possessed a lockbox to collect vendor cash and issue a bond. When the law was passed, the state had no means to collect sales tax, chase down fraudulent vendors or use technology to coordinate permitting efforts. In 2016, itinerant vendors are subject to sales tax and other regulation at the local level.”

The measure, which is cosponsored by Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston, now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (2016-S 2751) has been introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston). It is cosponsored by Senators Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich, East Greenwich), William A. Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick), Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton, Little Compton) and Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence).

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903