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Weekly Roundups  

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Rep. Amore bill would legalize 'social gaming'
Ten neighborhood friends kick in $10 each for a Superbowl pool, the winner walking away with all $100. They have just broken the law.Social gaming such as office football pools and NCAA brackets would be legal in Rhode Island, under legislation introduced by Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence). The bill would define 'social gaming' as a game other than a lottery, between players where gambling is incidental to a bona fide social relationship between participants and where no person other than the players particpating are entitled to receive anything of value.  
Sen. Sheehan reintroduces ethics amendment
Sen. James C. Sheehan has again introduced legislation to put a constitutional amendment question before Rhode Island voters that would reestablish the authority of the Ethics Commission over the core legislative acts of the General Assembly while preserving the venerated tradition of unfettered free speech for each member of the legislature.      
Bennett bill would make Narcan available in schools
Measure aimed at equipping nurse teachers to save overdose victims
STATE HOUSE – With news this week about a Providence police officer who saved an overdosing man’s life by administering an opioid antagonist, Rep. David A. Bennett has introduced legislation that would require public schools that educate students in grades 6 through 12 to be equipped with such kits to treat opioid overdoses.

Sen. Gallo bill provides funding for full-day kindergarten
Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Hanna M. Gallo, who has championed universal full-day kindergarten, has submitted legislation to incentivize school districts to implement universal full-day kindergarten programs. Her legislation would accelerate the implementation of a portion of the education aid funding formula to fund new full-day kindergarten programs that begin in the 2015-2016 school year at the rate they would be funded when the formula is fully phased in. The school funding formula is presently three years from full implementation for communities that see an increase in aid.

DiPalma, Ucci introduce Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015
Technology has come a considerable distance in the last decade, and it’s time for the state’s identity theft statute to be brought up to date as well, say Sen. Louis P. DiPalma and Rep. Stephen R. Ucci, the sponsors of the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015.  
Sen. Pearson submits bill to fund school construction
With the current moratorium on state aid to school construction set to expire in May, Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation to reform the process through which school construction projects are approved and provide a designated funding stream to meet the needs of modern public education facilities.

Bill would offer tax credit for student loan payments
Measure aimed at strengthening talent pool, keeping educated in R.I.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski and Sen. Ryan W. Pearson are sponsoring legislation to allow college graduates to claim a tax credit for payments on their student loans as a means of keeping talented, educated people in Rhode Island and encouraging innovators to make the state their home.

Rep. Shekarchi re-introduces hiring incentive bill
Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), for the third year, has introduced legislation he believes has the potential to be a real job creator in the state, and which will work hand-in-hand with the other legislation that has been enacted to improve Rhode Island’s businesses climate and overall economy. The legislation, the “Rhode Island New Qualified Jobs Incentive Act,” would make tax incentives available to companies that hire new “qualified” full-time employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week, with a salary that is at least 250 percent of the state’s hourly minimum wage.