This week at the RI General Assembly

STATE HOUSE – Here are the highlights from news and events that took
place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of
these items visit http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/News/

*    New transportation funding plan would nix Sakonnet tolls
A group of East Bay legislators led by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist.
12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton), Rep. John G. Edwards
(D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) and Sen. Christopher Scott Ottiano
(R-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol) submitted legislation to create a
predictable statewide funding source for roads and bridges, without a
toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The legislation (2014-S 2335
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/SenateText14/S23
35.pdf> , 2014-H 7432
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/HouseText14/H743
2.pdf> ) creates a new Infrastructure Trust Fund using a number of
existing revenue streams to create a pool of funding for the maintenance
of all state-controlled roads and bridges as well as adding funding to
the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.
Click here to see news release.
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID=9431>

*    Ajello, Miller introduce bill to regulate, tax marijuana
Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller
(D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and House Judiciary Committee
Chairwoman Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence) introduced
legislation (2014-S 2379
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/SenateText14/S23
79.pdf> , 2014-H 7506
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/HouseText14/H750
6.pdf> ) to make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and establish a
system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
Click here to see news release.
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID=9438>

*    Lynch proposes early voting for Rhode Island
Sen. Erin P. Lynch (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced
legislation (2014-S 2237
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2237.pdf> )
to make in-person early voting available for all Rhode Island elections,
except special elections. Early voting would begin on the 21st day
before a general election and end on, and include, the Saturday before
the scheduled election. In-person early voting would begin the 13th day
before a primary and end on, and include, the Saturday before the
primary election.
Click here to see news release
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID-9437> .

*    House, Senate committees consider Board of Education revamp
The Assembly held hearings on an article of the governor’s proposed
budget and an identical Senate bill that would restructure the
governance and responsibilities of the Rhode Island Board of Education.
The House Finance Committee and its Health, Education and Welfare
Committee met jointly on Article 20 of the budget bill (2014-H 7133
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/HouseText14/H7133.pdf> ).
The Senate Education and Finance committees met jointly on legislation (
2014-S 2265
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2265.pdf> )
introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).
Click here to see news release
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID-9421> .

*    Murder/parole, registry bills heard by Senate committee
Three bills dealing with individuals convicted of murder were heard by
the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, following a State House news
conference held by sponsors to outline the specifics of the legislation.
Two of the bills would affect parole eligibility for convicted
murderers. The other would require convicted murderers, upon release, to
register with local law enforcement. Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist.
33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) sponsored the bills in the
Senate (2014-S 2029
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2029.pdf> ,
2014-S 2031
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2031.pdf> ,
2014-S 2036
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2036.pdf>
). Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence)
introduced two of the bills in the House (2014-H 7103
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/HouseText14/H7103.pdf> ,
2014-H 7100
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/HouseText14/H7100.pdf> )
and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick)
introduced the other (2014-H 7101
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/HouseText14/H7101.pdf> ).
Click here to see news release
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID-9419> .

*    Assembly leaders address annual Chamber of Commerce luncheon
Legislative leaders participated in a question-and-answer forum on
economic development at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s
annual luncheon at the Rhode Island Convention Center, attended by about
600 government officials, business leaders and nonprofit organizers. The
legislators’ discussion, which covered topics including jobs, tax and
regulatory reform, workforce training and economic development projects
throughout the state, featured House Speaker Gordon D. Fox (D-Dist. 4,
Providence), President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13,
Newport, Jamestown), House Majority Leader Nicholas A. Mattiello
(D-Dist. 15, Cranston), Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere
(R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), House Minority
Leader Brian C. Newberry (R-Dist. 48, North Smithfield, Burrillville)
and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20,
Woonsocket, Cumberland).

*    Ucci proposes improvements to transparency in quasi-public
corporations
House Majority Whip Stephen R. Ucci (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston) has
introduced a bill (2014-H 7138
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/HouseText14/H713
8.pdf> ) that would impose a clear set of standards to improve
accountability and transparency for quasi-public corporations. The
corporations are typically governed by independent boards that serve a
critical oversight function involving government resources and assets.
Examples include the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, the
Quonset Development Corporation, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation
and the Rhode Island Resource and Recovery Corporation.
Click here to see news release.
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID=9434>

*   Senate, House bills would make R.I.-style calamari state’s official
appetizer
Legislation has been introduced in the Senate and House to christen
Rhode Island-style calamari as the state’s «official appetizer» in
recognition of the popularity of the dish and the importance of the
squid industry, which reports annual landings of about 23.5 million
pounds worth about $18.5 million. Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37,
South Kingstown, New Shoreham) introduced the Senate bill (2014-S 2398
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/SenateText14/S2398.pdf>
). Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) introduced
the House bill (2014-H 7446
<http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText14/HouseText14/H7446.pdf> ).
Click here to see news release
<http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/pressrelease/_layouts/RIL.PressRelease.Lis
tStructure/Forms/DisplayForm.aspx?List=c8baae31-3c10-431c-8dcd-9dbbe21ce
3e9&ID-9430> .

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