Bills Introduced to the Rhode Island Senate (Judiciary Committee), February 8-10

Significant Rewrites with Statewide Impact













S0214Prohibits landlords from asking about immigration status.
S0216Allows expungement of a criminal record in 5 years instead of 10 under certain circumstances.
S0219From the official description: “This act would amend the law banning racial profiling in traffic stops by state and municipal law enforcement agencies by imposing additional requirements upon law enforcement agencies to collect data and complete regular reports of findings and statistics regarding traffic stops”. Companion to H5263
S0220“An applicant for an operator’s or chauffeur’s license shall be required to present an identity document, a document with the applicant’s signature, and two (2) documents providing proof of residency in Rhode Island”.
S0222Privileges communications between public-safety personnel and their “critical incident stress management team or peer-support members”. Companion to H5308.
S0224From the official description: “This act would prohibit an employer from refusing to hire a person…or for a governmental agency from denying an individual a license to work in a particular trade or business based solely on that individual having a criminal record, with certain exceptions”.
S0228Changes to regulations on historical cemeteries.
S0233Changes to campaign finance law.
S0242From the official description: “This act would make unlawful the use of a non-hands-free mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle, except for public safety personnel”.
S0248Requires the Rhode Island Broadcasters association to establish a website for the publication of legal notices, and all members to announce the website at least once per day.
S0270Makes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana into a civil offense.

Targeted Changes with Statewide Impact






























S0210Prisoners must be paid interest on the earnings while in prison when released.
S0211A police officer in his or her jurisdiction with the intent to stop someone from a motor vehicle violation has authority to do so, if during pursuit they cross into another jurisdiction. (As the law is currently written, the officer must already have the intent to arrest the operator, in order to retain authority when crossing out of his or her municipality.
S0215Makes the entirety of employment contracts with the government part of the public record.
S0217Choking someone is a felony, even if it does not result in serious bodily injury. Companion to H5087
S0218Extends the life of a task force working on the improvement of lineup procedures in RI. Companion to H5090.
S0221An ambiguous change to election law that I can’t quite decipher.
S0223Makes clear that any party to a civil action who is over 65 years age can request an acceleration of the action. Companion to H5259
S0225Prevents landlords from refusing tenants on the basis of “government assistance recipient status” (with an exception for owner occupied properties of 3 or fewer units).
S0226Increases the (approximate) maximum size of voting districts in RI from 1,900 to 3,000 voters.
S0227Exempts cemeteries from adverse possession laws.
S0229Administrators and magistrates, currently appointed by judges, would be appointed by the Governor from a list of candidates selected by a judicial nominating commission. Companion to H5091.
S0230From the official description: “This act would establish a putative father registry establishing procedures relating to paternity”.
S0231Allows school committees to publish notice of their meetings electronically.
S0232Ends the master lever, version I
S0234A conservation or preservation restriction may not be terminated or amended…without the prior approval of the superior court in an action in which the attorney general has been made a party.
S0235Increases the term of imprisonment for a third violation of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs. (Also extends the window for defining a third violation from 5 to 25 years).
S0236Applicants for DCYF jobs would be required to undergo a BCI check. Companion to H5222
S0238Ends the master lever, version II
S0239The official description says: “This act would clarify that conservation easements are not terminated if a property is merged or sold at a tax sale”, but rather unusually for legislative language, the actual bill adds an example to some very technical legal language. Companion to H5309
S0240Smoking is prohibited in vehicles where there is a child who is required to be in a car-seat. (But why is this going to the Judiciary committee?)
S0241Increases term of imprisonment for a second violation for “driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury”
S0244Redefines “first-time offender” for purposes of expungement.
S0245From the official description: “This act would reduce the statutory interest in civil actions from twelve percent (12%) to six percent (6%)”.
S0246Parents cannot legally allow their children to use or consume alcohol “in any establishment licensed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages”.
S0247From the official description: “This act would limit liability of a tortfeasor to only several damages if it is found that the defendant is no more than twenty-five percent (25%) liable”.
S0248Requires the Rhode Island Broadcasters association to establish a website for the publication of legal notices, and all members to announce the website at least once per day.
S0249“In computing the term of any parole, or probation under this chapter, a prisoner or parolee shall be entitled to a sentence reduction of up to fifteen (15) days for every month of parole or probation completed without incident to be determined by the parole board”.
S0269Imposes fines and possible suspensions for motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who stuff themselves into an intersection trying to beat the light (and also if they just outright ran the light).

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“This act would reduce the statutory interest in civil actions from twelve percent (12%) to six percent (6%)”.
Well, ain’t that about time! It was raised to 12 during the 70’s, the days of 18% mortgages, although it wasn’t regarded as temporary.
I can’t see why it should exceed the rate on any “secure” investment, let’s say Treasury Notes.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“Requires the Rhode Island Broadcasters association to establish a website for the publication of legal notices,”
More of a change than might appear. Courts currently direct the newspaper in which it is to be published, giving that paper a monopoly. Legal notices are fiercely expensive.
“Prevents landlords from refusing tenants on the basis of “government assistance recipient status” (with an exception for owner occupied properties of 3 or fewer units).”
See my previous comments on “exemptions”. Why is it that small landlords are “holier, and closer to God” than “big landlords”?
“Prohibits landlords from asking about immigration status.”
And why should that be? If the tenant is “illegal”, isn’t the landlord an “accessory”?

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