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Biography

Representative William W. O’Brien

Deputy Majority Leader

Second Vice Chairman, House Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Second Vice Chairman, House Committee on Rules

Member, House Committee on Finance

William W. O’Brien (D) has served the residents of North Providence in District 54 since first being elected in November 2012. He was named a Deputy Majority Leader in April 2014. He serves as the second vice-chairman of both the House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Rules and is a member of the House Committee on Finance and Permanent Joint Committee on State Lottery.

During the 2019 legislative session, Representative O’Brien sponsored a bill, signed into law, which expands Family Court jurisdiction to enter protective orders to provide for the safety and welfare of household pets in domestic abuse situations. He also sponsored a new law that creates the Right to Read Act, which requires certain licensed teachers to be proficient in scientific reading instruction.
Representative O’Brien sponsored several pieces of legislation that became law during the 2018 legislative session. He sponsored a bill that made sexual abuse reporting more effective and a law that requires drug abuse and suicide prevention be taught in Rhode Island schools. He also introduced a bill that became law which requires anyone entrusted with the care and control of an animal, such as a veterinarian or an animal shelter worker, to report any discovered instance of animal cruelty to the proper authorities.
During the 2017 legislative session, Representative O’Brien introduced a bill that became law as part of the state budget that restores free bus passes for low-income seniors and disabled individuals. He also sponsored a successful bill that speeds up the process of adoption for any animals that are abandoned or impounded. He also sponsored a law now requiring the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to consider incorporating substance abuse and suicide prevention education into the health education curriculum.
One of Rep. Bill O’Brien’s areas of focus has been on improving the quality and affordability of public education. His legislation that created dual enrollment programs at Rhode Island schools enables students to enroll at a college or university as non-degree students and have the courses be recognized toward degree completion at both the college and high school levels.
Born on July 27, 1969, he is a 1987 graduate with honors from North Providence High School and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rhode Island College in 1991. He later studied at Providence College, the University of Rhode Island and Florida International University.
Representative O’Brien is an attendance officer in the Providence public school system. He served in the Peace Corps in South Africa from 1998 to 2000 and was a North Providence Jets youth football coach for 12 years. He is engaged to Jacqueline Celeste.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
25 Oak Grove Blvd.
North Providence, RI 02911
(401) 440-4063