Member, House Health, Education and Welfare Committee
Second Vice-Chairwoman, House Committee on Municipal Government
Shelby Maldonado (D) was elected November, 2014, to the House of Representatives in District 56, Central Falls. She serves as the second vice-chairwoman of the Committee on Municipal Government and is a member of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. She is the co-chairwoman of the Legislative Black and Latino Caucus.
In 2017, she introduced a successful justice-reform bill that requires that cities and towns comply with certain procedures when prosecuting defendants such as the right to counsel, and amends the penalties imposed for ordinance violations. She also successfully introduced the Uniform Act on the Prevention and Remedies for Human Trafficking, which establishes penalties and remedies for human trafficking.
She also introduced two workers’ right bills that were signed into law. The first creates a statutory vehicle for the creation and functioning of workers' cooperatives, which are corporations that are owned and democratically governed by their members. The second amends the work-sharing law by allowing employers more flexibility in the reduction of work hours among its employees and by allowing more leeway on the start date of an adopted works-haring plan.
During the same session, she introduced an education-reform law that establishes the College Crusade of Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization, as the entity that will administer and operate all program services and manage scholarship resources.
In 2016, Representative Maldonado was appointed chairwoman of a special legislative commission to study the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act and its compliance by cities and towns. The commission was created by a House resolution that was introduced by Representative Maldonado.
She was also one of 48 state leaders from across the nation selected for the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by the Council of State Governments in 2016.
During her first legislative session in 2015, she championed civil rights legislation for women, sponsoring a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating against, and failing to provide reasonable accommodations for, employees due to pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. She also sponsored a law that removes the requirement that a person convicted of and sentenced for a crime be presently serving an initial term of imprisonment prior to requesting forensic DNA testing.
In 2017, she received the Extraordinary Woman Award by the Woman Development Institute.
Prior to her election to the House, she was a member of the Central Falls City Council.
Born July 24, 1987, she graduated from Central Falls High School, where she is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She received her degree, majoring in political science and communication studies, from the University of Rhode Island in 2009.
She previously served in the Peace Corps in Africa.
P.O. Box 6506, Central Falls, RI 02863