Coming up in Committee: Fourteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, May 3 – May 5

14. S0319: Subjects the appointment of the RI Commissioner of Higher Education to the advice and consent of the Senate. (Senate Education, May 4)
13. S0867: Requires all Rhode Island hospitals to submit “evidence of participation in a high-quality comprehensive discharge planning and transitions improvement project operated by a nonprofit organization in this state” or “a plan for the provision of comprehensive discharge planning and information to be shared with patients transitioning from the hospitals care” to the director of the state department of health. (Senate Health & Human Services, May 4)
12. S0295: Imposes a tax of 1 cent per ounce on bottled soft drinks. (Senate Finance, May 3)
11. H5157: Reduces the state gas tax from 32 to 27 cents per gallon. (House Finance, May 5)
10. S0521/S0524: Increases in the number of hours of instruction required during a kindergarten day. (Senate Education, May 4)
9. S0833: Rewrites Rhode Island’s law on sexual offender registration, in order to implement the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Introduced at the request of the Attorney General. (Senate Judiciary, May 3)
8. Various traffic law changes, ranging from making use of a non-hands free cell phone illegal when driving (S0269) and not wearing your seat-belt into a primary traffic law violation (S0022), to increased penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical substance-use test (S0028, S0235) and increased penalties for causing an accident that results in bodily injury (S0118). (Senate Judiciary, May 5)
7. H5743: Requires state agencies (RIDE, DHS, DCYF, RI health agencies and hospitals involved with immunizations, and the state police and office of public safety) to “track ethnic communities”. The bill then goes on to list certain ethnicities that should be tracked. Why some ethnicities should be singled out in the law is not clear. (House Finance, May 4)
6. S0432: Gives the Board of Regents for Secondary and Elementary education the power to grant waivers from state mandates, when petitioned by local school committees. (Senate Education, May 4)
5. S0827: Creates a new section of criminal law that defines crimes against the public trust. Introduced at the request of the Attorney General. (Senate Judiciary, May 3)
4. H5431: Establishes an Inspector General’s office in the State of Rhode Island. (House Finance, May 4)
3. 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. Introduced at the request of the Secretary of State. (Senate Judiciary, May 3)
2. H5848: Creates a tax-credit for service stations that install alternative fuel pumps. (This is much more important bill than H5847, the excise tax exemption for certain electric vehicles). (House Finance, May 5)
1C. S0415: Standalone bill (see the last two bills on the list, for the context of “standalone”) making teachers’ strikes illegal in Rhode Island. (Senate Labor, May 4)
1B. S0413: Terms of expired teachers’ contract would continue, until a new contract agreement is reached. (Senate Labor, May 4)
1A. S0794: Binding arbitration for teachers contracts on all issues, including salary issues. Also says teachers’ can’t strike and the unaccountable arbitrator must consider a municipality’s “ability to pay”. Apparently, in the progressive thought-process, writing into the law fact that the government doesn’t have an absolute right to all of the people’s income is considered a compromise. (Senate Labor, May 4)

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13 years ago

S0295 – 1 cent an ounce? Is is just me or does that sound like a lot of “tax revenue” ?? 12 cents per can of soda, Wow.
S0269 – “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter an
intersection whether or not any traffic signal is green unless there is sufficient space in the
roadway he or she is about to enter beyond the intersection to receive his or her vehicle without
blocking the intersection.”
Do we really need to put this into law? Let’s see, the intersection is full, but the light is green, so I’ll pull into the middle of the intersection anyway….
There are a few other gems in this bill along the same line, basically making what should be common sense decisions into law.
Of course public/driver safety is important, but if folks used a bit of common sense when driving there would be no need to actually spell these things out in the law of the land.

13 years ago

“Various traffic law changes, ranging from making use of a non-hands free cell phone illegal when driving (S0269) and not wearing your seat-belt into a primary traffic law violation”
Police state insanity. What business is it of the state’s in the first place if I want to wear a seatbelt or not? New Hampshire has no seatbelt requirement and proves that it is not necessary. Now RI wants police to be able to pull over drivers merely on suspicion of not wearing a seatbelt? Whoever introduced this bill is an authoritarian control freak.
“S0794: Binding arbitration for teachers contracts on all issues, including salary issues.”
i.e. Financial Ragnarok

13 years ago

A very mixed bag this week, some are quite important, others not:
14. S0319: We don’t need this position at all. Let’s abolish it and save the salary/benefits/pension money.
13. S0867: Police state micromanagment of medical care. Must be defeated.
12. S0295: Taxing soda as if it were alcohol? Is our state competing with Michael Bloomberg?
11. H5157: I’m always for reducing taxes. This might not cost so much if it steals gas sales from MA – currently I avoid buying gas in RI.
10. S0521/S0524: Not a legitimate function of state government.
9. S0833: Meh.
8. Traffic laws: Meh.
7. H5743: Great! Let’s institutionalize racism, especially when it can be used for more grievance-mongering.
6. S0432: Let’s abolish the mandates, but this is a good start.
5. S0827: Let’s see how many GA members quit as a result of this law impacting their off-the-books income.
4. H5431: Another toothless bureaucrat sucking down tax dollars.
3. S0400: YES! A small first step toward honest elections.
2. H5848: More micromanagement of an industry at taxpayer expense. I thought Chafee was trying to raise revenue, but perhaps the green lobby has violated S0827 to get this garbage sponsored.
1C. S0415: Let them strike, let us fire and replace them with non-union teachers.
1B. S0413: Perpetual contracts. MUST DEFEAT! This bill, also known as the “one-way ratchet” would allow unions to sit back, cross their arms and refuse to negotiate any contract changes that they don’t like with no recourse for the taxpayers.
1A. S0794: Binding arbitration would hold taxpayers hostage to the whims of an inherently corrupt system. I have never seen an arbitration of government union contracts go in favor of the taxpayers. Goodbye, RI.

13 years ago

“Do we really need to put this into law?”
YES! Don’t block the box! There’s no such thing as common sense among RI drivers. It leads to frustrating gridlock.
Hey, I often follow this anyway and quite often the car behind will honk.
I like the NYC law of $350 fine and 2 pts on insurance.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Did Harold Metts step through the looking glass?He’s been defending illegal aliens all along and now wants Voter ID?Well,OK,Senator.Maybe you noticed something wrong.

13 years ago

SO413, the contract stays in effect until a new one is negotiated, no way. The opposite actually needs to happen. We need the expiration date of contracts moved up to June 30 and we need to allow municipalities to tell the union that they’re fired as of July 1. Then they can start the search for a new group of teachers or if individuals want to re-apply for their jobs.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Bill Rapelye interviewed a prime assemblage of “advocates”outside the Statehouse today where they were protesting the Voter ID law and lying about why.The simple reason is that these charlatans want illegal aliens to vote-simple as that.
The culprits were Gorge Nee,Steven Brown,Jim Vincent(new head of the NAACP and a real snake oil salesman,Pat Crowley and someone else of the same ilk.
The media gave these creeps lots of time for their lies and didn’t interview a single supporter of the legislation-no bias there.

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