Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro
Chairman, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee
Member, House Committee on Rules
Member, House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare
Samuel A. Azzinaro (D) has served the residents of District 37 in Westerly since first being elected in November 2008. He is the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and also serves as a member of both the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare and the House Committee on Rules.
During the 2016 legislative session, Chairman Azzinaro saw three pieces of legislation pass the General Assembly and become law. The first provided children with disabilities, who are enrolled in post-secondary or transitional education programs administered by local educational agencies, the opportunity to continue the educational programs through to the conclusion of the school or program’s academic year, even if the student reaches the age of 21 during the school year. Chairman Azzinaro also sponsored legislation to establish the Dorian J. Murray Foundation license plate. He was also instrumental in creating the new CCRI Jobs Skills Training Center in downtown Westerly, which will train individuals in high skilled manufacturing jobs.
During the 2015 legislative session, Chairman Azzinaro had several pieces of legislation pass both chambers of the General Assembly and became law. One law he sponsored mandates the development of a transition plan by the DCYF and DBHDDH for all children under the jurisdiction of the family court who are developmentally delayed or seriously emotionally disturbed prior to the child turning age 21. Another piece of legislation that became law increases the permissible funeral expense for a veteran who dies at the veterans' home from $5,000 to $10,000. Lastly, Chairman Azzinaro sponsored legislation that expands the division of public utilities and carriers’ authority to adopt safety standards related to pipeline facilities including, storage, transportation and distribution of natural gas and flammable gas.
Representative Azzinaro has helped to obtain state support and private assistance to bring a planned campus of Community College of Rhode Island to downtown Westerly. He recruited Electric Boat to serve as an anchor tenant for the facility, which will include a job skills training center and 18 academic classrooms.
During the 2013-14 session, he sponsored legislation enacted into law that makes stealing farm products and livestock a crime and, depending on the value of the stolen items, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The House also passed his resolution calling on the Office of Energy Resources to issue a report describing the state’s energy security and improvement opportunities. He was also the author of legislation, now law, that allows liquor stores to open at 10 a.m. on Sundays, enabling businesses in Westerly to compete with Connecticut stores. He also sponsored a law which prohibits price gouging of essential commodities during an emergency. Representative Azzinaro, who previously won a fight to keep the Division of Motor Vehicles’ branch open in Westerly, convinced DMV officials in 2014 to offer drivers’ tests in South County as well.
Representative Azzinaro previously served for 12 years on the Westerly Town Council, including four years as its President.
He served in the National Guard for four years, and was active in the Army Reserve for two years and inactive in the Army Reserve for two years as well. He was a Staff Sergeant E6.
Representative Azzinaro was born on January 29, 1943. The father of five is a retired textile worker, business owner and carpenter, and resides in Westerly with his wife, Carol. They are the parents of five children: Tami Algiere, Amy Azzinaro, Lori Gulluscio, Samuel J. Azzinaro and Mary Azzinaro-Banks.
20 Piezzo Drive
Westerly, RI 02891