1. S2008: A “person, corporation, or other entity who has resolved” its claims related to the 38 Studios project “is not liable for claims for contribution or equitable indemnity regarding matters addressed in the settlement”. (S Judiciary; Thu, Jan 23) Any lawyers with civil litigation experience want to tell us what this means? Also, what are the limits, with regards to how much latitude a legislature has in creating unique rules of procedure for a particular civil case?
2. S2011: Adds a phrase to last year’s law supposedly reforming the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, so that it now reads “Nothing in this act shall be construed to change or modify the corporate existence of the former Rhode Island economic development corporation, which shall now be known as the ‘Rhode Island commerce corporation'”… (S Commerce; Tue, Jan 21) …just in case anyone was led mistakenly to believe that last session’s “reform” significantly changed anything!
3. H7053: Creates a “Joint Committee of the Repealer” within the legislature, to recommend laws & regulations for repeal. (H Judiciary; Tue, Jan 21)
4. H7092: “A patient who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and is in need of a referral to a medical specialist, shall have the right to specify the specialist to whom he or she shall be referred”. (House Health, Education & Welfare; Wed, Jan 22)
5. H7115: Allows a city or town to exempt the homestead of a 100% disabled veteran or his or her surviving spouse from local property taxes. (H Veterans’ Affairs; Thu, Jan 23)
6. H7110: Requires a $5 “registration” fee be paid and proof of payment of municipal taxes be provided by all businesses in Smithfield, and imposes a $25 per day fine for operating a business in Smithfield without having so registered. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Jan 23) With the usual apologies to Bill Reynolds, there’s no truth to the rumor that this is part of the General Assembly’s newest Legislative initiative: Pin-pricking Rhode Island with the needle.
7. H7054: Requires candidates, political parties and political action committees to report their expenditures over $100 “in furtherance of the nomination, election, or defeat of any candidate or the approval or rejection of any question submitted to the voters, or at any financial town meeting, financial town referendum, or other election at which amendments to a city or town charter are proposed”. (Reporting of contributions for any of the reasons cited above is already required). (H Judiciary; Tue, Jan 21)
8. H7031: Requires life insurance companies to perform a semi-annual review of “in-force life insurance policies and retained asset accounts issued for delivery in this state against a death master file”. (H Corporations; Tue, Jan 21) This made the list because it is “model legislation” from the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, which must be the “good” kind of model legislation, since Rhode Island progressives never seem to have any worries about bills sponsored by insurance lobbyists.