Coming up in Committee: Ten Sets of Bills to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, Today, April 9

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1. H5563: Inter-district school choice plan for Rhode Island public schools, where “any child may attend a public school, in a city or town where he/she does not reside, as provided for in this chapter”. (H Finance; Thu, Apr 9)

2. H5956: Bans union versus non-union status from being used as a criterion for the awarding of public contracts, and prohibits public-works contracting provisions requiring utilization of specific unions, or requiring that a union be recognized as an exclusive bargaining representative. (H Labor; Thu, Apr 9)

3. H5962: Extends the authority of the Director of Environment Management to regulate construction near freshwater wetlands, to include granting building approvals over “areas subject to flooding”, “contiguous areas that extend outward”, or land “two hundred feet from the edge”. (H Environment and Natural Resources; Thu, Apr 9)

4A. H5436: Freezes the phase-in of the state education aid “funding formula” at its 2015 level until 2018. (H Finance; Thu, Apr 9) The bill makes no mention of whether we’d pick up where we left off in 2019, or have a sudden change to where the original plan is supposed to be in that year.

4B. H5275: Gives immediate “full” state funding for transitions from half-day to full-day kindergarten, starting in 2016. (H Finance; Thu, Apr 9)

5. H6012: Extends building permit “tolling” (“the suspension or temporary stopping of the running of the applicable permit or approval period”) to 2016… (H Municipal Government; Thu, Apr 9) …which, I believe is the latest in a series of extensions that has gone on since 2011.

6. H6001: From the official description: “This act would allow employers to make voluntary contributions to their unemployment account, in order to lower their unemployment insurance tax rate for the following calendar year”. (H Labor; Thu, Apr 9)

7. S0734: After some addition and removal of phrases, the law ends up reading “an insurer authorized to do business in Rhode Island shall not use a customer’s credit report to underwrite or rate risks”. (S Commerce; Thu, Apr 9)

8. H5352: Repeals the license requirement for saltwater fishing off of Rhode Island’s coast. (H Environment and Natural Resources; Thu, Apr 9)

9. Bud. Art. 11, sec 12: Increases the RI Earned Income Tax Credit from 10% of the Federal EITC to 15% of the Federal EITC starting in 2017. (H Finance; Thu, Apr 9)

10. S0093/S0549/S0557: Various bills requiring labeling of genetically modified foods. (S Health and Human Services; Thu, Apr 9)

Local Impact: Coventry, Newport, Tiverton 2 3.



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