April 26, 2019

Legislative Press Bureau at (401) 528-1743

           

 

This week at the

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.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

§  House passes Speaker Mattiello’s bill creating teams to prevent school violence
The House approved legislation sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) to increase school safety by creating threat assessment teams in schools to serve as the “boots on the ground” in identifying potentially threatening behavior by those in the school community. Under the bill (2019-H 5538), which will now go to the Senate, school districts would also adopt policies for assessment and intervention, including procedures for referrals to community services or health care providers for evaluation.
Click here to see news release.

§  House approves Leader Shekarchi’s resolution seeking sepsis protocols
The House approved a resolution (2019-H 5539) sponsored by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) calling for the Department of Health to develop protocols to help detect and treat sepsis, a fast-moving and potentially fatal complication that occurs when a person’s body has an extreme response to an infection.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Rep. Caldwell’s bill to post opioid warning signs at R.I. pharmacies
The House approved legislation (2019-H 5184) sponsored by Rep. Justine A. Caldwell  (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) to require signs at pharmacies warning customers about dangers associated with opioids, similar to those required where tobacco products are sold. The bill will now go to the Senate, where Sen. Bridget G. Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett) is sponsoring companion legislation (2019-S 0291).
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs bill to provide info on workers’ co-ops when companies are closing
The House approved legislation (2019-H 5769aa) sponsored by House Deputy Majority Whip Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence) to notify workers of their opportunity to organize a cooperative and make a bid to buy out their company in the event of a mass layoff or plant closing. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) is sponsoring companion legislation (2019-S 0253).
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs Hawkins bill that prohibits misrepresenting pets as service animals

The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5299aa) sponsored by Rep. Bernard A. Hawkins (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester) that prohibits the misrepresentation of pets as service animals in order to acquire any rights or privileges afforded to disabled. According to the legislation, if a person is found to have misrepresented a pet as a service animal, the person would be guilty of a civil violation, punishable with up to 30 hours of community service for an organization that serves people with disabilities. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 0308) has been introduced by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs Marszalkowski bill that amends law to encourage food donation

Rep. Alex D. Marszalkowski’s (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland) legislation (2019-H 5322aa) which establishes comprehensive immunity provisions for individuals donating food to food banks passed the House of Representatives.  The purpose of the legislation is to provide incentives and protections to implement and increase food recovery and donations in Rhode Island. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 0027) has been introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Morin bill would require coverage of non-opioid pain treatments
The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare heard testimony on legislation (2019-H 5120) sponsored by Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) that would require health insurance contract plans or policies to provide coverage for certain licensed practices including physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and oriental medicine. Similar legislation (2019-S 0068) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. DiPalma bill would protect families with parents that have disabilities

The Senate Judiciary Committee  heard legislation (2019-S 0702) introduced by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) that precludes the disability of a parent from serving as a basis for denial or restriction in matters involving a child’s welfare, foster care, family law, guardianship and adoption. The purpose of the legislation is to protect the best interests of children who have parents with disabilities by establishing procedural safeguards that require adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) is the sponsor of the companion legislation (2019-H 5562) in the House of Representatives.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Commission recommends moving adult education programs to DLT
A Senate commission that studied the issue has issued its final report and determined that adult learners in Rhode Island would be better served by moving the administration of adult education programs from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Governor’s Workforce Board within the Department of Labor and Training. The commission was led by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Coyne sponsors three bills to support Alzheimer’s care
Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne  (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) has introduced three bills aimed at better supporting Rhode Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The bills establish a state program dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease and an Alzheimer’s advisory council (2019-S 0223), allow the spouses or partners of patients residing in Alzheimer’s or dementia special care unit to live with them (2019-S 0302), and support a new five-year update to the state plan for Alzheimer’s disease (2019-S 0310). Companion bills (2019-H 5178, 2019-H 5141, 2019-H 5569) have been filed in the House by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) and Rep. Mia A. Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln), respectively.
Click here to seen news release. 

 

 

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bill extending funding for the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund has been approved by the Senate. The bill extends funding for decades. The fund provides assistance for first responders and others who were exposed to deadly toxins at Ground Zero after the 9-11 terror attacks. The House recently passed the bill and President Trump is expected to sign it soon. The measure got a big push from New York firefighters, police and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.        The House Ways and Means Committee is being Sued by President Trump as a way to block his tax returns from becoming public. The suit comes just weeks after the committee sued both the Treasury Department and IRS to obtain Trump's federal returns, but Trump's lawsuit will intervene. Trump has repeatedly refused to show his tax documents, a common tradition among presidential candidates.       Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller [[ MULL-er ]] is reportedly asking deputy Aaron Zebley to attend two House hearings with him as backup. CNN says Mueller asked Zebley to come to help him answer questions, should he be needed. The request is being considered by Democrats who run the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, but Republicans are said to be suspicious.       Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is cheering the big budget deal that has been struck by the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. McConnell called it the best deal possible under the circumstances of "divided government." The deal covers government spending for two years and raises the federal debt ceiling. The deal must be approved by the full House and Senate and signed into law by President Trump.        A boxer who collapsed following a fight at MGM National Harbor in Maryland is dead. Maxim Dadashev of Russia passed away this morning. He was hospitalized after his match Friday with Subriel Matias, which was stopped by Dadashev's corner following the 11th round. He took numerous shots to the head and was hospitalized with swelling to his brain. He had been in a medically induced coma. Dadashev was 28-years-old.        Lifetime announced today it will follow up it's acclaimed six-part documentary on R. Kelly with "Surviving R. Kelly: The Aftermath." The new show will explore what's happened since it aired in January. Kelly was arrested for a second time in Chicago two weeks ago on sex-crime charges. The 52-year-old also faces charges in Brooklyn where he's due in court next month.