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Biography

Representative William W. O’Brien

Deputy Majority Leader

First Vice Chair, House Corporations Committee

First Vice Chair, House Rules Committee

Second Vice Chair, House Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Member, House Finance Committee

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. Representative O’Brien serves as the first vice chair of both the House Corporations Committee and the House Rules Committee and is the second vice chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. He is a member of the House Finance Committee and he is the chair of the Permanent Joint Committee on State Lottery.

In 2020, Representative O’Brien sponsored legislation which mandates arming campus police at public higher educational institutions and includes campus police in the definition of "law enforcement officer" for the purposes of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights. He also sponsored a bill which provides that any person convicted of larceny of a package delivered by any government or private delivery service, shall, if committing larceny while operating a motor vehicle, that motor vehicle shall be subject to forfeiture. He also reintroduced legislation which would terminate all parental rights of any person convicted of sexual assault which results in the birth of a child from that assault.

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.

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 a math teacher 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