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School Housing Aid Task Force releases final report
The Senate Task Force on School Housing Aid has adopted its final report, which is a culmination of findings and recommendations on how the state should proceed after the school housing aid moratorium ends on June 30, 2014.

Legislation being introduced to lower RI sales tax
Saying they are attempting to make Rhode Island a more business- and consumer-friendly state, Rep. Jan P. Malik (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren) and Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) announced at a news conference today they are introducing legislation to reduce Rhode Island’s 7 percent sales and use tax. One bill calls for a straight-out reduction of the sales tax to 3 percent. The other bill calls for a reduction of the sales tax to 6 percent.

Senate passage hints at viable future for digital auto insurance cards
The Senate passed legislation today that would give motorists the freedom to travel without a paper insurance card as long as they have digital proof of insurance. If enacted, proof of financial responsibility could be provided to a law enforcement officer in the case of a traffic stop or an accident using a customer’s smartphone, tablet or other mobile electronics.

House passes social media privacy act; protects personal accounts of prospective employees, students
As concerns grow about federal government intrusion into personal information, more state legislatures are acting to protect the privacy of their residents’ digital information. With House passage today of 2014-H 7124A, Rhode Island stands poised to join the growing list of states taking action to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of social media account holders. Sponsored by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly), the legislation will establish a social media privacy act not only for job applicants but for prospective students, as well.  
General Assembly allows May 15 extension of toll cap on Sakonnet River Bridge
The General Assembly today passed legislation (2014-S 2697A, 2014-H 7569aa) extending the date until which the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) must continue using a 10-cent cap on the Sakonnet River Bridge tolls.  Sponsored by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) and Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton), the bills will now be sent to the governor’s office for a signature after a final vote of 68 to 2 in the House and 36 to 0 in the Senate.

Diaz, Goodwin submit bills smoothing path for GED seekers
For at least a century, educators have filled the minds of the nation’s youth with the notion of the “American dream,” which professes that each and every citizen has the power to change their station in life with a little hard work. But with new barriers now standing in the way of Rhode Islanders who want to take the high school equivalency test known as the General Education Development (GED) exam, Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) have set out to change the rules for adult education with new legislation making it easier for people to climb the ladder to success.

Keable to lead House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Cale P. Keable (D-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester) has been appointed chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello announced today.
Gallison tapped to lead House Finance Committee
House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello today appointed Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Mattiello elected Speaker of the House
The House of Representatives today elected Rep. Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) its Speaker.  
Panel urges behavioral health, primary care integration
A panel composed of lawmakers and experts studying behavioral health and primary care has issued a report that says Rhode Island needs to adopt stronger policies and funding practices that encourage closer integration of behavioral health care, including substance abuse treatment and primary health care.