Coming up in Committee: Seventeen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, June 18 – June 19


1. H5127: The state budget (details yet to be posted).  (H Finance; Tue, Jun 18)

2. H5776: Repeal of voter ID. (H Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

Update: Ian Donnis of Rhode Island Public Radio is reporting that an amended “compromise” bill will be introduced on Tuesday, that will require an ID, albeit an non-photo ID, to be shown at a polling place.

3. S0352: Repeals the June 30, 2013 sunset on the law that makes driving without wearing a seat belt a primary motor vehicle offense. (S Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

4. H6219: Allows the Bristol County Water Authority to foreclose on a property if a renter fails to pay his or her water bill. (H Municipal Government; Tue, Jun 18)

5. H5386: “Any state or local agency must demonstrate extreme need and the lack of any viable alternative before exercising a right of eminent domain over any land which is protected with a conservation restriction or preservation restriction”. (H Judiciary; Wed, Jun 19) In other words, special property-rights for certain government-favored properties, that typical property owners do not share .

6. H6217: A phased-in increase of pension payment amounts for Central Falls retirees, beginning at 75.6% of the pre-bankruptcy amount in 2016, exceeding 100% by 2035, and adding a minimum 2% COLA after that. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 19)

7. H5802: “Not later than July 1, 2014, all No. 2 distillate heating oil sold in the state shall contain not less than two percent (2%) of a biobased product”, eventually moving up to “not later than July 1, 2017, all No. 2 distillate heating oil sold in the state shall contain not less than five percent (5%) of a biobased product”. (S Environment and Agriculture; Wed, Jun 19)

8A. S0284: “Upon request of a law enforcement agency, a wireless telecommunications carrier shall provide device location information concerning the telecommunications device of the user to the requesting law enforcement agency in order to respond to a call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical injury to any person and requires disclosure without delay of information relating to the emergency”. (H Corporations; Tue, Jun 18)

8B. H5562: Bans government agencies from obtaining location information from a telecommunications company as part of child support collection. (H Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

9A. S0511: Directs Rhode Island’s public college and universities to create a reverse-transfer policy “to use credits earned at a four (4) year institution for an associate’s degree at a two (2) year institution”. (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Jun 19)

9B. S0639: Mandates that the state Board of Education create a “dual enrollment policy that shall allow students to enroll in courses at postsecondary institutions to satisfy academic credit requirements in both high school and…postsecondary institutions”; this version of the bill does not contain the provision requiring that “funding allocated for that student shall follow the student to the enrolled higher education institution” that was present in an earlier version. (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Jun 19)

10. S0116: Allows the length of the public school year to be counted as 1080 hours instead of 180 days. (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Jun 19)

11. S0563: Increases the number of places in the law where required use of “an ignition interlock system” can be imposed as part of the sentence of driving under the influence. (H Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

12. H5325: Adds “synthetic cannabinoids or piperazines or any synthetic cathinones”, which I believe is the official name for synthetic marijuana, to the list of illegal controlled substances in Rhode Island. (S Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

13. S0368: Gives the Rhode Island workers’ compensation court authority to determine employer versus independent contractor status, in lawsuits where that status is in dispute. (S Labor; Wed, Jun 19)

14. H5695: Knocks out sections of the law that say compensation for traffic tribunal magistrates “shall be determined by the chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal subject to appropriation by the general assembly” and that compensation of traffic tribunal magistrates shall be less than an associate judge of the district court” — and replaces them with nothing. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 19)

15. S0012: The father-daughter dance bill. (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Jun 19)

16. S0079: New licensing requirements for the buying or receiving of “all ferrous and nonferrous metals, including, but not limited to, copper, copper alloy, bronze and aluminum”. (S Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

17. S0554: No pretending to be the Attorney General or using the office’s emblem, if you’re not the Attorney General. (H Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18 & S Judiciary; Tue, Jun 18)

Unsure where to rank this: S0276: Makes certification by the “american midwifery certification board” a condition for dispensing medication while practicing midwifery in Rhode Island, while striking the sections of the law referring to nurse-midwives. (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Jun 19)

Inobvious Priorities: S0581/H6126 >> Senior center bingo; H6143 >> Ratifying the already ratified 17th Amendment to the US Constitution (direct election of Senators)

Local Impact: Burrillville 2 3, Coventry, Cranston 2, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Glocester, Middletown, New Shoreham, Richmond, Smithfield, Warren, Woonsocket.