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Biography

Representative Marvin L. Abney

Chairman, House Committee on Finance

Member, House Committee on Conduct

Member, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Marvin L. Abney (D) has served the residents of Newport and Middletown in District 73 since first being elected in November 2012. In May 2016, he was named chairman of the House Finance Committee, which is tasked with adopting the annual state budget. He also serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the House Committee on Conduct and the Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning.

In the 2019 legislative session, Chairman Abney was once again the lead sponsor and negotiated the FY 2020 state budget.  The budget largely avoided new taxes while strengthening education, continuing the car-tax phase-out and maintaining municipal aid, while closing a $200 million budget gap.
Chairman Abney was the lead sponsor of a new law during the 2018 legislative session that eliminates a number of unnecessary and duplicative licenses, removes small application fees, and a number of other fixes to streamline regulations and fees for Rhode Island’s small businesses.
In response to an emergency in Newport County caused by a natural gas shut-off in 2019, Chairman Abney secured state and private grants to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center of Newport to assist impacted residents.
In 2019, Chairman Abney was honored by the Rural Jobs Coalition as its Legislator of the Year for his leadership in passing Economic Opportunity Zone legislation in Rhode Island. He also received the Capitol Caregiver Award by AARP Rhode Island in 2019 for his efforts in creating and funding the Livable Home Modification Grant to encourage independent living for the elderly and disabled.
In 2018, he was presented the Francis R. Dietz Award for Public Service by the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, which recognized his leadership on issues confronting hospitals. Also in 2018, he was honored by the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care with the Legislative Champion Award for his advocacy on behalf of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, and by Sail Newport with the President’s Award for his long-time advocacy for the organization.
Chairman Abney is a retired Major of the United States Army after a 20-year Army career, including a stint as the company commander at NATO Headquarters in Belgium. He also retired from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he held the position of executive assistant to the commissioner.
Born on Nov. 10, 1949, he attended Dunbar High School in Texarkana, Texas, and in 2018 was honored by the Texarkana Independent School District as a Distinguished Alumnus.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration at Stephen F. Austin State University in 1975; a master’s of management degree from Webster University in 1982; a master’s of business administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2000, and a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership from Johnson & Wales University in 2005. He also attended the Command and General Staff College in Munich, Germany in the late 1980s.
In addition to his duties as a legislator, Representative Abney also serves on the Board of Governors for the Newport Health Care Corporation, the Board of Corporators for BankNewport, the Vestry & Finance Committee at St. John’s Church and the Executive Board for the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council.
Representative Abney has a long history of involvement in community organizations and boards, including the Newport Zoning Board of Review, Coggeshall Elementary School Improvement Committee, Salve Regina University’s Internal Review Board, First Night Newport and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, among others.
He lives in Newport with his wife, Cheryl Lynn (Amado). He is the father of Marvin L. Abney II, U.S. Army Capt. Christian A. Abney and Tess A. Abney. He is the grandfather of three: Sierra, Jade and Mia.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
12 Summer St.
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 487-1380

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