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Weekly Roundups  

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Senate passes Sen. Crowley’s juror fee bills
The Rhode Senate passed two pieces of legislation relating to juror fees sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket).  The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Sen. Lawson introduces bill requiring feminine hygiene products to be provided in public schools
Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) has introduced legislation (2020-S 2183) that would require all public schools to provide feminine hygiene products at no cost.

Sen. Raptakis reintroduces bills to toughen drunk driving laws for repeat offenders
Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) has reintroduced several bills to stiffen penalties for repeat offenders of driving while under the influence infractions.

Sen. Lynch Prata’s ‘Rhode Island Parentage Act’ passes Senate
The Senate yesterday passed legislation to update Rhode Island’s laws regarding parentage so that they are fair to all types of parents, including those in the LGBTQ community. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata sponsored the legislation (2020-S 2136A), which would repeal outdated and discriminatory state law regarding parentage and replace it with a uniform act that provides procedures establishing parentage, genetic testing, surrogacy agreements and assisted reproduction.

Rep. Abney’s motion picture tax credit bill passes House
House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney’s (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) legislation (2020-H 7247A) that amends the state’s motion picture tax credit program passed the House of Representatives.

House introduces legislative package to address high prescription costs
The House has introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing the high price of prescription drugs.

House supports increase to minimum wage
The House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by Rep. David A. Bennett to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour on Oct. 1.

Rep. O’Brien introduces bill that extends SRO reimbursement program
Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has introduced a bill (2020-H 7437) that would extend the reimbursement to school districts or municipalities for newly hired school resource officers.

Rep. Canario introduces bill which allows municipalities to ban vaping in public spaces
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7488) which authorizes municipalities to adopt ordinances restricting vaping in public places and areas near schools, day care and hospitals.

Senate approves bill to prohibit discrimination against housing assistance recipients
The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts to prohibit housing discrimination against those who receive government assistance to pay their rent.

Shekarchi bill would require full insurance coverage for EpiPens
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi has introduced legislation to require health insurers in Rhode Island to cover the full cost of life-saving epinephrine injectors, commonly known by the brand name, EpiPen.

Metts proposes reform of asset forfeiture law
Rhode Islanders may lose seized property even when they broke no law
STATE HOUSE – In Rhode Island, a family can lose cash, a vehicle or other property as a result of a criminal investigation, and may never get them back, even if the result is ruling of not guilty.

Senate introduces legislative package to address high prescription costs
The Senate today introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing the high price of prescription drugs.

Sen. Lynch Prata’s bill that raises the minimum wage to $11.50 passes Senate
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata’s (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) legislation (2020-S 2147A) that would increase the hourly minimum wage to $11.50 per hour was passed by the Senate.

Whip Goodwin and Rep. Slater will introduce Nursing Home Staffing and Quality of Care Act
Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence) will be introducing legislation that will establish a nursing home minimum staffing standard, raise wages for caregivers, and provide needed training opportunities for caregivers.

Leader Shekarchi proposes the Cure bill to incentivize discovery of cures for major diseases
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi has introduced legislation that would have Rhode Island join an interstate compact aimed at finding cures for deadly diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV and diabetes.