Four Bills to Be Heard by the House Finance Committee Today

According to the Rhode Island General Assembly website, four bills are to be heard by the House finance committee this afternoon, and be eligible for floor-action on what is purportedly going to be the last day of this legislative session…

  1. What looks to be a good-goverment bill regarding state purchasing and bidding (S2442). Most of the sponsors have solid good-government credentials, but Senator Frank Ciccone is also a sponsor, so I am a bit suspicious.
  2. A 7.5% income tax on the income of 527(c) political organizations (S2501). 527s are organizations that can make independent political expenditures, so long as they don’t “coordinate” with campaign organizations. In the past, 527s were prohibited from engaging in direct electioneering communications (i.e. running ads that say to vote for or vote against a candidate), but this has almost certainly changed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. FEC.
  3. The state education “funding formula” (H8094). I doubt the text posted at the moment is the most current version of what is being discussed, as it is the original version of the bill that was introduced, and according to funding formula advocate Jennifer D. Jordan, last minute negotiations concerning issues like capital project financing and blunting the removal of regionalization bonuses are ongoing.
  4. An act “supporting” this year’s budget bills (H8270), which rolls chagnes related to Medicaid reimbursements, the car tax, and fire-district levies all into a single piece of legislation. Are there any bean-counters out there who’d like to take a look at this one, and explain why it is a priority?

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11 years ago

Can’t speak to the Medicaid numbers, but for the motor vehicle exemptions, I can speak to it.
The original bill set the MV exemption at $500 and only allowed the locals to increase it back to $6,0000..or more. It failed to allow for cities or towns to set an exemption amount between $500 and $6,000 if they choose to. This bill (H8270) corrects that flaw.

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