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Weekly Roundups  

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House passes Corvese bill to create animal abuse registry
The House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese to create a statewide animal abuser registry aimed at preventing those with a history of mistreating animals from obtaining other animals.

Speaker Mattiello, Deputy Speaker Lima, Sen. Lynch Prata and Sen. Archambault honored by the Humane Society
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) honored four legislators yesterday during their annual Humane Lobby Day at the State House.  Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello, Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima, Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata, and Sen. Stephen R. Archambault were each honored with the Humane State Legislator Award due to their ground-breaking advances and advocacy for animal welfare in Rhode Island.

Bennett introduces bill to ban polystyrene food containers, plastic stirrers
Rep. David A. Bennett, chairman of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, has introduced legislation that would ban Rhode Island food service establishments from using disposable polystyrene foam containers and plastic stirrers.

Sen. Nesselbush introduces resolution denouncing white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups
Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) has introduced a resolution (2019-S 0829) that denounces and opposes white nationalism and neo-Nazi groups in Rhode Island.

Senate backs bill to enact much of ACA at state level
The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller to help protect Rhode Islanders’ access to insurance coverage in the face of threats to the federal Affordable Care Act.

Speaker’s Good Samaritan overdose bill passes House
The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello to help prevent overdose deaths by better protecting law enforcement and emergency medical personnel who try to save victims.

Bill to raise tobacco age to 21 scheduled for hearing
For the sixth consecutive year, Rep. Teresa Tanzi has once again filed legislation to increase the age to buy tobacco products in Rhode Island to 21. This time, she has support from an unlikely backer: the tobacco industry.  
Sen. Felag bill that exempts application fees for veterans to public higher education institutions passes Senate
Sen. Walter S. Felag’s (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) legislation (2019-S 0178) that authorizes the state’s higher education institutions to waive application and transcript fees for veterans passed the Rhode Island Senate.

General Assembly leaders unveil package of comprehensive education reform legislation
The leadership of the Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives unveiled a package of education reform bills during a press conference at the State House today.

Senate passes Ruggerio legislation to bring more transparency to pension plan systems
The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that would bring further transparency to the St. Joseph's Health Services pension plan.

Two bills sponsored by Sen. Lawson pass Senate concerning apprenticeships and contractor bonds
Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) were passed by the Rhode Island Senate.  The two bills relate to apprenticeship programs and contractor bonds for state projects.

Sen. Felag bill that raises amount of beer directly sold by breweries to customers passes Senate
Sen. Walter S. Felag’s (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) legislation (2019-S 0620) that would increase the amount of beer sold directly to customers by breweries was passed by the Rhode Island Senate.

Rep. O’Brien named chairman of Joint Lottery Committee
Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) was unanimously elected as the chairman of the Permanent Joint Committee on State Lottery this week by his fellow committee members.

Rep. Marszalkowski’s bill that amends law to encourage food donation passes House
Rep. Alex D. Marszalkowski’s (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland) legislation (2019-H 5322) which establishes comprehensive immunity provisions for individuals donating food to food banks passed the House of Representatives.

House approves Mattiello bill creating teams to prevent violence at schools
Panels would ensure warning signs aren’t missed
The House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello to increase school safety by creating threat assessment teams in schools to serve as the “boots on the ground” in identifying potentially threatening behavior by those in the school community.

House approves Caldwell’s bill to post opioid warning signs at all pharmacies in R.I.
Measure intended as part of effort to curb opioid epidemic
The House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Justine Caldwell to require signs at pharmacies warning customers about dangers associated with opioids.

Sen. Coyne sponsors three bills to support Alzheimer’s care
Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne has introduced three pieces of legislation aimed at better supporting Rhode Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease and securing more federal funding for Alzheimer’s programs in the state.

House approves Shekarchi resolution seeking sepsis protocols
The House of Representatives approved a resolution sponsored by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi calling for the Department of Health to develop protocols to help detect sepsis early and treat it.
Rep. Hawkins’ bill that prohibits misrepresenting pets as service animals passes the House
Legislation (2019-H 5299aa) sponsored by Rep. Bernard A. Hawkins (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester) that prohibits the misrepresentation of pets as service animals in order to acquire any rights or privileges afforded to disabled people passed the House of Representatives.

Rep. O’Brien questions RIC and CCRI over hiring of armed police details on campuses
At a meeting of the House Finance Subcommittee on Education, Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) questioned representatives from Rhode Island College (RIC) and the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) over their decisions to hire armed police details for campus events at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer.  The campus police forces for RIC and CCRI are not armed and both administrations have been strong opponents to legislation (2019-H 5138) sponsored by Representative O’Brien that calls for the arming of RIC and CCRI police officers.

President Ruggerio to introduce bill to streamline development on large tracts of state land, such as I-195 Redevelopment area
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio plans to submit legislation today that takes a new approach to economic development on large tracts of state land. Spurred by delays and impediments imposed upon the Hope Point Tower proposal for the I-195 Redevelopment District, President Ruggerio hopes to create a more streamlined process for approvals on these state-owned parcels moving forward.

Metts, Slater joined by advocates calling for licensing reform
Bill aimed at opening career paths for those released from prison
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Harold M. Metts and Rep. Scott A. Slater have filed legislation to prevent Rhode Islanders from being denied an occupational license based solely or partially on a non-related criminal conviction.