Here are highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly last week. For more information on any of these items visit www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.
Sen. Doyle steps down; special election dates set
Sen. James E. Doyle, II (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) has resigned. Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) stated he is “grateful for Senator Doyle’s service to our state, and we in the Senate wish him all the best in his recovery and in all of his future endeavors.” Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea has scheduled a special election to fill the seat, with the primary to be held on Feb. 27 and the election to be held on April 3.
Rep. Serpa, Sen Lynch Prata bill would protect hunting dogs from frigid temps
Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) and Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) have introduced legislation (2018-H 7045) that would add hunting dogs to an existing law that protects animals from extreme temperatures.
Leader Shekarchi proposes closing loophole for mastectomy insurance coverage
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) introduced legislation (2018-H 7002) requiring health insurers to provide full coverage for all costs related to mastectomies, including medical supplies, and said its passage would be a high priority for him this session.
Rep. Regunberg introduces bill to lower high cost of prescription drugs
Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7042) to create greater transparency in the prescription drug industry and to protect consumers from unreasonable prices for certain high-value drugs. The bill establishes a board of pharmacy to examine how prescription drug manufacturers set the price for certain prescriptions, and give it the authority to set a maximum allowable price to protect the Rhode Island consumers.
Rep. Nardolillo, Sen. Goodwin bill would make DUI with child in car a felony
Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28, Coventry) announced that he will be introducing legislation to make driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child under the age of thirteen in the vehicle a felony offense. Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate.
Rep. Solomon bill would introduce sexual consent education in schools
Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would lead to an increase in education on consent and sexual activity in secondary schools. The bill (2018-H 7044) would permit the teaching of sexual consent in the context of existing family life courses.
Sen. Seveney, Rep. Craven bill would ban bump stocks on semi-automatics
Sen. James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton) and Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) have introduced legislation (2018-S 2027, 2018-H 7075) that would ban bump stocks on semi-automatic firearms. A bump stock is an attachment that allows the shooter to fire a semi-automatic weapon with great rapidity. Click here to see news release.
Rep. Shanley bill would protect Internet users from personal info disclosure
Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would give more protections to Internet users in Rhode Island. Dubbed the Right-to-Know Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Act, the legislation (2018-H 7111) would protect individuals of this state from disclosure of personally identifiable information through the Internet by operators of commercial websites or online services and would empower the attorney general with enforcement authority for any operator violations.
Senate Finance Committee passes PawSox legislation
The Senate Finance Committee has recommended passage of a resolution (2018-S 2001) that would authorize the state to enter into lease and financing agreements in connection with a ballpark in Pawtucket, and a bill (2018-S 2002) that would permit redevelopment agencies to finance the construction of projects for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, institutional, public or other purposes contemplated by a redevelopment plan. Both were introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).