Bills Introduced in the Rhode Island Senate, January 11-13

Significant Rewrites with Statewide Impact

S0008Creates an “artificial reef” program for Rhode Island.
S0013Authorizes the Rhode Island National Guard to create an academy “for the purpose of providing at-risk youth with a program to help them obtain a GED, and/or high school diploma, increase their employment potential, and enhance their education and life skills.
S0014Increases funding for the University of Rhode Island for agricultural and environmental programs.
S0028Mainly, this bill allows a refusal to take a chemical sobriety test associated with a traffic violation to be introduced in court, and specifies a separate set of penalties depending on whether an individual submitted to a test or not. (Comment: Is this all Constitutional?)
S0029Same-sex marriage (companion to H5012)

Targeted Changes with Statewide Impact

S0010Allows state police members to purchase pension credits for up to 4 years of service in the armed forces (up from a maximum of 2). (Comment: This should go through an actuarial analysis. But here’s the best part: The law explicitly states that the money used to purchase the pension credits doesn’t actually go to the pension fund — it goes to the general fund!
S0011Allows the Rhode Island National Guard to participate in asset forfeitures that occur as a result of enforcement of drug laws.
S0012Allows the head of the Rhode Island National Guard to “administer monetary contributions from donors to charitable organizations for and on behalf of the Rhode Island National Guard that benefit state military programs”.
S0015Allows any city or town to exempt disabled veterans from property taxes.
S0016Prohibits tolls from being used to pay for the maintenance/upgrade of the Sakonnet River Bridge. (Comment: In reality, this means no tolls without the approval the legislature for paying for the Sakonnet River bridge, since one of those “nowithstanding any other law” clauses could be written into a future law.
S0017Allows retired state nurses to earn up to $24,000 working as part-time nurses for the state (currently, the limit is $12,000).
S0018Property seized during police actions that is unclaimed after six months becomes property of the local police agency (instead of the state).
S0022You can be stopped while driving for not wearing your seatbelt as long as “constitutional standards are satisfied” (Comment: Where exactly can the legislature write laws where that assume the constitution can be ignored. Oh that’s right, the Central Falls Receivership and the Teacher’s Health Retirement Board.)
S0023Reduces the amount of unpaid child support classified as a felony from $10,000 to $5,000.
S0024Being deployed out-of-state as part of military service cannot by itself be the cause of modifying a child-custody order.
S0027Increases penalties for hit-and-run.
S0032Changes who can be a lawyer for the Rhode Island National Guard; it’s not just for RI Bar members anymore (if the bill passes).
S0033Increase penalties for desecrating graves an other public monuments. (Also changes the word “inclosure” to “enclosure” everywhere in the affected chapters of RI law).
S0040From the official explanation: “This act would authorize the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to use one million nine hundred thousand dollars ($1,900,000) of its Unemployment Compensation Modernization Incentive Payments received from the federal government under Public Law 111-4 for the costs associated with the administration of its Unemployment Compensation law”.

Changes with Local Impact

S0031(Charlestown) Gives the Charlestown Town Council greater control over the jurisdiction of the Charlestown traffic and parking court. (Companion to H5020)

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13 years ago

” (Comment: Is this all Constitutional?)”
So let’s see. A cop pulls me over, I’m having a terrible day and I’m already angry. Maybe I roll my eyes at some point. He asks “Have you been drinking?” Coming straight from work, I answer “No.” He asks me to take a breathalyzer. I say no. So now I’m subject to penalties?
Sure the answer would have been to simply blow, but hey, I haven’t been drinking, I don’t want to.
Or how about that girl who the cop was seeing on the side but now is trying to break things off with keeps calling. He pulls her over, she refuses a breathalyzer, see ya, new penalties.
I understand there’s a loophole preventing drunks from testing positive, but is there a better way? How about at least fail a video taped field sobriety test first?

13 years ago

Patrick, I demand that you stop making sense!

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