Bills Introduced to the Rhode Island House (Judiciary Committee), February 15-16

A large number of bills were submitted into the Rhode Island House and referred to the Judiciary Committee, the week before the spring recess. A few of the highlights are above the fold, the complete set is below.

Significant Rewrites with Statewide Impact




H5347Constitutional amendment for voter initiative and referendum.
H5405The sentence for a second DWI offense will include being ordered to abstain from alcohol and wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.
H5407From the official description: “authorize[s] and empower[s] state and local law enforcement to work together with Federal authorities to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully in the United States”.
H5410Constitutional Amendment bringing legislators under Ethics Commission jurisdiction

Targeted Changes with Statewide Impact







H5336Extends open meeting laws to “non-profit corporation or other non-profit entity that funded at least twenty-five percent (25%) of its operational budget in the prior budget year”
H5340Requires committee votes to be published on the General Assembly website.
H5341Prohibits state officials in positions that require Senate confirmation from lobbying (Let’s call this one “The Caruolo Act, 2.0”)
H5368Repeals the estate tax exemption, but replaces it with an estate-tax credit of $25,200 on all estates.
H5456Requires that all roll call votes, including committee votes, be posted on the GA website within 24 hours of the vote being taken.


Significant Rewrites with Statewide Impact




















H5338Allows special license plates for EMTs
H5346Creates a process for voter initiative and referendum (depending on an authorizing constitutional amendment)
H5347Constitutional amendment for voter initiative and referendum.
H5359Changes inheritance rules.
H5360From the official description: “This act would permit a trustee who has absolute power to invade principal of a trust to make distributions to a second trust for the benefit of the same beneficiaries”.
H5365From the official description: “This would enable wills and trusts executed prior to September 12, 1981, to qualify for the unlimited Rhode Island estate tax marital deduction available after federal estate tax law permitted an unlimited federal estate tax marital deduction”.
H5366From the official description: “This act would require the electronic recording of custodial interrogations in their entirety in cases where the potential sentence is one of life imprisonment”.
H5367From the official description: “This act would eliminate certain notice requirements to parties in interest in the probate of a will or letters of administration but in no way would limit the discretion of the court to order any notice it deems necessary”.
H5404The sentence for a second offense of refusing a chemical DWI test will include being ordered to abstain from alcohol and wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.
H5405The sentence for a second DWI offense will include being ordered to abstain from alcohol and wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.
H5406The sentence for DWI offense resulting in serious bodily injury will include being ordered to abstain from alcohol and wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.
H5407From the official description: “authorize[s] and empower[s] state and local law enforcement to work together with Federal authorities to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully in the United States”.
H5409Constitutional Amendment specifying a run-off election, if no candidate for Governor receives a majority vote, and run-off elections for the other General Officers in cases where no candidate gets a majority vote AND we’re holding a run-off for Governor anyway.
H5410Constitutional Amendment bringing legislators under Ethics Commission jurisdiction
H5412Requires 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. Companion to S0248.
H5413Constitutional Amendment adding one legislator to the Rhode Island House, and the requiring that all Senate districts be composed of two House districts.
H5414Constitutional Amendment placing Secretary of State second in-line of succession. (I think this needs another rewrite)
H5445Removes certain restrictions on the make-up of voting districts.

Targeted Changes with Statewide Impact















































H5336Extends open meeting laws to “non-profit corporation or other non-profit entity that funded at least twenty-five percent (25%) of its operational budget in the prior budget year”
H5337Child support orders automatically continue after a child with a “severe physical or mental impairment” reaches the age of 18, and until ordered stopped by the courts.
H5339From the official description: “This act would require court permission prior to filing a lis pendens on real estate that is used solely for the purpose of maintaining the health, education and welfare of an individual”. Paging one of our readers expert in real-estate terminology…)
H5340Requires committee votes to be published on the General Assembly website.
H5341Prohibits state officials in positions that require Senate confirmation from lobbying (Let’s call this one “The Caruolo Act, 2.0”)
H5342Proposed constitutional amendment specifying the Gov and Lt. Gov run on a ticket.
H5343From the official description: “This act would eliminate the requirement for police officers to maintain written reports to be kept on file whenever a high speed pursuit occurs”.
H5344From the official description: “eliminate(s) the requirement that police departments submit their high-speed pursuit policies to the attorney general”.
H5345“there shall be no obligation on the part of a probate court to prepare an affidavit of no real property or record a certificate of descent upon the failure of the fiduciary to do so”.
H5348Purchase and sales agreements must include sewer, water, and fire-tax details.
H5349Exempts cities and towns from having to pay the $25 stipend to certified individuals who perform official duties on election day. (The stipend remains in the law, the bill simply says that cities and towns are not responsible for paying it).
H5350Allows electronic posting of notices of school committee meetings on a school committee or municipal website to satisfy notification requirements.
H5351Allows electronic posting of notices Public Utilities Commission Hearings on the PUC website to satisfy notification requirements.
H5352Repeals limits on how voting districts may be structured, e.g. minimum number of people included in a voting district, prohibitions on combining wards, etc.
H5353Handicapped parking placards would be required to include a photograph of the holder.
H5354From the official description: “This act would exempt persons issued a license to carry a pistol or revolver by the attorney general from the seven (7) day waiting period to purchase a pistol or revolver”.
H5355Raises the small-claims limits from $2,500 to $5,000, and then provides for automatic increases for inflation.
H5356Makes clear that any party to a civil action who is over 65 years age can request an acceleration of the action. Same as H5259, companion to S0223.
H5357Would allow a bail commissioner to initiate the process to suspend a drivers license for refusing to submit to a chemical driving test (as the law is written, currently it must be a judge).
H5358Requires training and certification of animal shelter employees.
H5361Suspends the drivers licenses of someone charged with driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.
H5362Registrar of Deeds can set document formatting standards, subject to approval by the Secretary of State. Companion to S0066.
H5363Authorizes a special Knights of Columbus Choose Life license plate. Companion to S0254.
H5364Increases the exemption from $300,000 to $500,000, and other changes to the homestead exemption on a “Levy and Sale on Execution”
H5368Repeals the estate tax exemption, but replaces it with an estate-tax credit of $25,200 on all estates.
H5369From the official description: “Provide(s) a cause of action on behalf of any principal or claimant covered under a fiduciary bond filed under a probate court order against the issuing surety for wrongfully, and in bad faith, refusing to pay or settle a claim, or perform its obligations under the bond”.
H5370Requires motorcycle parking spots at public buildings. Companion to S0019.
H5371Exempts certain life insurance policies and annuities “from attachment on any warrant of distress”.
H5372Allows the creation of zoning “overlay districts” where “standards and requirements may be more or less restrictive than those in the underlying districts”. This seems like a bill targeted at something in particular.
H5408Changes community service sentences for the manufacturing or delivering certain drugs from no less than 100 hours to up to 100 hours.
H5411Reduces the amount of unpaid child support classified as a felony from $10,000 to $5,000. Companion to S0023.
H5444Makes violation of the seat belt laws an offense you can be stopped for.
H5446Excludes houses or structures with 5 or more units from the definition of “real estate” in the section of the law titled “Agency Relationships in Residential Real Estate Transactions” (Anyone with knowledge of the real estate industry want to comment).
H5447Class N nightclubs can admit patrons until 1:30 (currently, the law says they have to stop at 1:00).
H5448The majority & minority leaders fix some small details of bills
H5449Makes violation of the seat belt laws an offense you can be stopped for, with expressed language about constitutionality
H5450Establishes voter ID requirements for the City of Woonsocket (All due respect to Rep. Baldelli-Hunt, I doubt different voting qualification for one city will pass Constitutional muster)
H5451Makes renewal of weapons permits automatic, “subject to payment of the fee, and a criminal background check”.
H5452Elimination of the master lever I.
H5453Allows adoptees to receive their “unaltered, original certificate of birth”.
H5454Elimination of the master lever II.
H5455From the official description: “This act would require certain people who work in child or youth services to apply and pay for a criminal records check from the Rhode Island bureau of criminal identification”.
H5456Requires that all roll call votes, including committee votes, be posted on the GA website within 24 hours of the vote being taken.
H5457In civil cases where pecuniary damages are awarded, 12% interest is added “from the date of the filing of the civil action” in all cases, rather than “from the date the cause of action accrued”.
H5458Brings “any financial town meeting or referendum to set a city or town’s budget or tax rate” under state elections laws.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

“The sentence for a second DWI offense will include being ordered to abstain from alcohol and wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.”
Without doubt, DWI offenders are dangerous jerks, but I don’t like this one. On the theory that “what can be done, will be done” I can see every type of dangerous jerk being monitored.
And then, the definition of “dangerous jerk” will be expanded.

Aldo
Aldo
11 years ago

Ethics Commission???
Think about it?
Their Budget is about $1 million per year!!
Yet can you name ONE single case that
they have initiated in the past decade?? Name ONE!
The only ones that come to mind are those brought by citizen’s groups like OCG…
The Ethics Commission is useless and perhaps it is time to abolish it.
For a million dollars per year it would seem they could do something besides collect forms.
And take a look at the present Board; several, e.g. John Lynch Jr are nothing but political hacks…
Why do you think he was nominated? In my opinion, it was to “protect” his friends….
I would suggest an Inspector General would be more effective..
Just my 2 cents!!!!

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