Coming up in Committee; What Was to Be Heard, After The House Was Supposed to Have Passed the Budget

Most of these bills were posted for their hearings on Monday or after.

Senate Finance Committee’s budget hearing. (S Finance; Wed, Jun 26 and also Thu, Jun 27 if necessary, which now seems likely.)

H5738/S0825: Allows the work requirement for cash welfare assistance to be fulfilled by two parents together working a total of 35 hours, instead of one parent having to work 35 hours for him/herself. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

H6019/S0900: Allows communities to declare themselves “PACE municipalities”, which would “dwelling owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through placing a voluntary assessment on a property tax bill”. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

H5140: Repeals the June 30 sunset on seatbelt violations being a primary offense. (S Judiciary; Thu, Jun 27)

H5083: Subjects Bryant University to local property taxes. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

H5981: Allows city housing authorities to obtain information on “unemployment compensation, child support, alimony, supplemental nutritional assistance and public welfare payments…for the purpose of determining the current income of any applicant regarding rental calculations”. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

S0889/H6076: Allows public school teachers to take “an unpaid leave of absence, not to exceed three years in order to be employed” in an administrative role by their current school system, another school system or the Rhode Island department of education, during which time they will not lose their tenured status. (S Education; Wed, Jun 26)

S0406: “Producers of packaging, or a producer responsibility organization acting as a designated agent, are required to develop and submit a program plan to the [Rhode Island department of environmental management] within twelve months of the passage of this chapter that arranges for and finances the collection and recycling of post-consumer packaging”. (S Environment and Agriculture; Wed, Jun 26)

H5163: School committee candidates in any city would only have to get 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot, down from the current number of 200. (S Judiciary; Thu, Jun 27) This bill began life targeted only at Newport, and has since been changed to apply to “any city”.

S0465: Real last call (maybe) for auto insurers versus body shops; this bill makes an unfair claims practice of “designating a motor vehicle a total loss if the cost to rebuild or reconstruct the motor vehicle to its pre-accident condition in less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the “fair market value” of the motor vehicle immediately preceding the time it was damaged”. (S Judiciary; Thu, Jun 27)

S0402/H5033: Establishes a program where employers can offer a prospective new hire 6 weeks of 24 hour-per-week training before putting them on the payroll, and the prospective employee won’t lose unemployment benefits during this training period. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

H5711: Directs the state board of education to create a policy for “honor[ing] the military training, experience, correspondence courses and occupations of an individual who has served in the military or armed forces of the United States”. (S Education; Wed, Jun 26)

S0629/H5712: Directs state examining and licensing boards to come up with processes for expediting licensure of Armed forces members, their spouses, and anyone certified or licensed in another state. (S Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs; Wed, Jun 26)

S0524/H5768: “In the event that any party is aggrieved” by a retirement board disability decision concerning a police or fire injury that occurred on the job, the time limit for an appeal to the workers’ compensation court is 20 days from the decision. (S Finance; Thu, Jun 27)

S0908: Allows local inclusionary zoning ordinances to include “off-site construction or rehabilitation, donation of land suitable for development of the required affordable units, and/or the payment of a fee-in-lieu of the construction or provision of affordable housing units” as “alternative methods of production”. (S Housing & Municipal Government; Thu, Jun 27)

H5519/S0555: Tightening of regulations on precious metals dealers, including a new $50 per branch licensing fee. (S Judiciary; Thu, Jun 27)

H5084: Rent seeking from the government, trying to collect an $200 in license fees from Class C retailers, so they can keep their establishments open for an extra hour on Fridays, Saturdays, and day before holidays. (S Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs; Wed, Jun 26)

H6082: Complete repeal of the”Rhode Island Refunding Bond Authority Act”. (H Finance; Wed, Jun 26)

Local Impact: Central Falls 2, Cranston, East Providence 2 3, Narragansett, New Shoreham, Pawtucket 2, Portsmouth 2, Providence 2, Tiverton, Warwick 2, Woonsocket 2.

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