Coming up in Committee: Thirteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, April 26 – April 28
A little behind schedule due to Holy Week, here’s the list of some of the interesting bills going before General Assembly committees this week…
13. S0699: Exempts members of the “International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and its signatory contractors jointly participating in the IMPACT National Substance Abuse Program” from state job-site drug testing laws. One guess as to who the primary sponsor of this bill is. (Senate Labor, April 27)
12. S0182: Would allow the length of the public school year to be counted as 1080 hours instead of 180 days. (Senate Education, April 27)
11. H5254: A ban on under-21 nightclubs. (House Judiciary, April 27)
10. S0874: A bill from the Lieutenant Governor requiring that individuals who purchase medical insurance in Rhode Island specify a primary-care physician to their insurance company. (Senate Health and Human Services, April 27)
9. H5502: Bans food-service establishments from using “artificial trans-fats” in foods that they serve, with an exception for “food that is being served directly to patrons in a manufacturer’s original sealed package”. (House Health, Education and Welfare, April 27)
8. H5508: A resolution requesting that “the President and Congress of the United States to refrain from enacting or imposing any law or regulation that is beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers or that would diminish the rights of the people of Rhode Island to govern themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state”. (House Judiciary, April 27)
7. S0876: Requires health insurance co-payments and deductibles to be paid to medical service providers directly by insurance companies, with the insurance company being responsible for collecting the funds from the patients. (Senate Health and Human Services, April 27)
6. S0046: Raises the age of required school attendance from age 16 to 18 (or until the completion of high-school or several alternatives). (Senate Education, April 27)
5. H5340/H5456: Requires roll-call votes from General Assembly committees to be posted online, and for committee and floor votes to be posted in a format organized by Senator/Representative. (House Judiciary, April 28)
4. S0400: Requires either a photo ID or a document such as a birth certificate, social security card, etc. to be used as a voter-ID at a polling place. In the event that a voter does not have a required form of ID, he or she would cast a “provisional ballot”, where a comparison to the signature in the voting record would be used to determine if the ballot would be counted. (Senate Judiciary, April 26)
3. Senate Hearing on the Department of Human Services Budget. The proposed Human Services budget contains a 130 million dollar general-revenue increase from last year, going mostly to fund “grants and benefits assistance” under the “Medical Benefits” heading. (Senate Finance, April 28)
2. H5407: “No official or agency of this state, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law”, and the establishment of immigration enforcement procedures for state and local authorities to follow. (House Judiciary, April 27)
1. A group of bills on the subject of abortion, including a bill to provide public funding for abortions (H5180), a ban on abortions for sex-selection (H5530), a bill requiring that ultrasound images be provided prior to an abortion (H5691), a bill banning state or local governments from interfering in decisions related to pregnancy prior to “fetal viability” (H5752), a definition of the crime of murder of an unborn child (H5125) and a few others. (House Judiciary, April 26)
” Exempts members of the “International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and its signatory contractors jointly participating in the IMPACT National Substance Abuse Program” from state job-site drug testing laws.”
Oh great. So, according to this rep, it’s fine for an iron worker to show up impaired or stoned at a state job site.
“The proposed Human Services budget contains a 130 million dollar general-revenue increase from last year, going mostly to fund “grants and benefits assistance” under the “Medical Benefits” heading.”
… has H.S. heard about our budget deficit??
To be fair, I think the “participating in the IMPACT National Substance Abuse program” language implies that the union has a drug-testing program of its own. However, I am not a fan of writing special exemptions based on membership in a private organization directly into the law. I’m not really sure that this is even legal.
Andrew, if that’s the case, then it’s less bad. But if we’re writing exceptions in the law, then let’s really write them in. Put in there something about “unless any group is already participating in a similar or more stringent testing program”. Otherwise, what keeps them from dropping their participating and being clear?
Counting “school year” by hours, rather than days. Does this mean “Snow days” will bemade up by adding 15 minutes, here and there?
THe immigration bill seems to put an end to “sanctuary” cities.
S0876 – Great bill. It will raise premiums and kill all of the provider’s cash flow. Let’s drive more doctors out of RI!