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Biography

Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi

Chairman, House Labor Committee


K. Joseph Shekarchi (D) has served the residents of Warwick in District 23 since his election in November 2012. He is the chairman of the House Labor Committee.

Rep. Shekarchi advocated strongly for several measures included in the state budget enacted in 2015 that will stimulate job growth, help attract new businesses, and assist existing companies in our state. The Rhode Island New Qualified Jobs Incentive Act of 2015, introduced by Representative Shekarchi, was signed into law as part of the budget. This will provide tax credits to eligible businesses that create new jobs through 2020 and will encourage the creation of high-quality jobs in priority industries and areas. Additional incentives may be provided to communities most in need and to areas located in transit hubs, such as Warwick.

As Chairman of the Labor Committee, he managed successful bills through his committee and into law in both 2014 and 2015 which raises the state’s minimum wage. In his role as chairman, he sponsored legislation in both years to reform the state’s Workers’ Compensation system. In 2015, his successful bill authorizes the use of electronic fund transfers for the delivery of weekly workers’ compensation benefits.

In 2014, Rep. Shekarchi authored that law that eliminates the “master lever,” or single-party voting, from Rhode Island elections beginning in 2015. Also the result of legislation he sponsored in 2014 is a new law giving communities and developers options for conforming to municipal ordinances regarding the construction of affordable housing units in a community.

In the past three years, he has sponsored four animal rights’ bills that have been enacted into law. In 2015, his bill gives the R.I. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals custody of seized dogs. In 2014, he authored a law that makes individuals guilty of animal abuse responsible for the cost of care of those animals by the RISPCA.

He is a graduate of Mount St. Charles Academy, Class of 1980, and graduated from Suffolk University in 1984. He returned to Suffolk to earn his law degree in 1990.

In addition to his duties as a legislator, Representative Shekarchi is an attorney at the Shekarchi Law Office. He has been the legal counsel to the Warwick Housing Authority for 16 years and was a former Warwick solicitor.

He served as the former chairman of the R.I. Auto Dealers Hearing Board and is a former member of both the R.I. Judicial Tenure and Discipline Board and the Coastal Resource Management Council.

Born on May 17, 1962, Representative Shekarchi is a life-long Warwick resident.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
3524 West Shore Road
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
(401) 827-0100