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Weekly Roundups  

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Non-trade apprentice incentive bill passes Senate
The Rhode Island Senate has passed legislation that seeks to move apprenticeship training beyond typical building trades such as construction and plumbing and into more non-traditional sectors of the workforce and economy, such as manufacturing, information technology, design and management.  The bill directs the Governor's Workforce Board to establish a wage reimbursement incentive for each apprentice enrolled in a non-trade program.

House passes Fellela bill to prohibit computer use in making threats against schools
The House of Representatives today passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Deborah Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) that would make it a felony to use a computer to make threats against students at school.  
Senate passes O’Neill bill stiffening penalties for hit-and-run drivers
The Senate today approved legislation introduced by Sen. Edward J. O’Neill (I-Dist. 17, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield) that would create harsher penalties for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.   
Senate approves Paiva Weed bill establishing performance-based funding for public colleges
The Rhode Island Senate today approved legislation to establish a performance-based funding component to state aid for Rhode Island’s institutions of higher learning, linking funding to achievement of certain goals, such as improved on-time graduation rates and increasing the number of students completing programs in high-demand fields.

Panel studying charter school funding issues report
A legislative commission to studying Rhode Island’s school funding formula found that certain high-cost expenditure burdens were disproportionately borne by public sending districts and that charter schools saw increases in their respective tuition payments as a result.
House passes Serpa murder/parole bill
The Rhode Island House of Representatives today approved legislation that requires individuals convicted of murder to spend more time behind bars before being eligible for parole. The measure passed the House 69 to 3.  
Blazejewski elected deputy majority whip
Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence) was unanimously elected deputy majority whip today by his Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives.  
Women's Fund of RI honors Senate President Paiva Weed
The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island has selected President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed as this year’s recipient of the Susan L. Farmer Award, in honor of “her pioneering roles in government leadership and her support for Rhode Island’s groundbreaking Temporary Caregivers Insurance program.” The Susan L. Farmer Award was established in 2014 to acknowledge Mrs. Farmer's distinction as the first woman to hold statewide office in RI when she was elected Secretary of State in 1982, as well as her legacy of public policy and advocacy to advance women in government and public policy.

Rep. Shekarchi, Speaker Mattiello and Gov. Raimondo focus on job creation
House Committee on Labor Chairman K. Joseph Shekarchi (D- 23, Warwick) was joined by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Gov. Gina M. Raimondo at a press conference this morning that took place at the InterLink Transportation Hub garage in Warwick, RI, to highlight his legislative proposal, the Rhode Island Qualified Jobs Incentive Program (2015-H 5116), to encourage new and existing companies to grow and add new jobs.
Assembly OKs bill to allow bake sales at polls
The House of Representatives today gave final passage to a Senate bill that will allow bake sales to operate near polling places in Rhode Island. The bill, 2015-S 0058, introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston), now goes to the governor for her consideration. It will expressly allow bake sales to be held "as long as conduct does not interfere with the orderly conduct of the scheduled election."

Students, parents and teachers call for school repairs
Representative Regunberg sponsoring bill to increase funding for school construction and encourage smarter building
Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) joined members of the Providence Student Union along with teachers, parents and community members at a State House news conference today to call for increased funding to repair the state’s deteriorating school buildings.