Coming up in Committee: Sixteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, May 10 – May 12

Here are a few of interesting bills scheduled, so far, to be heard by General Assembly committees this week. If any other interesting bills are posted for hearings during the day on Monday, I will run an updated post on Monday evening.

16. S0729: Vehicles with more than two axles may not cross the Pawtucket River or Sakonnet River Bridges, with the exception of a) truck tractors, b) any emergency vehicle, or c) any other state or municipal owned vehicle. Submitted at the request of the Department of Transportation. (Senate Housing and Municipal Government, May 10)
15. S0645: Requires tangible property taxes to be paid, immediately upon the sale of “a major part in value” of a business. (Senate Judiciary, May 10)
14. H5790: Requires that “75% of all classes taught at each public institution of higher education be taught by full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty” by the year 2017. (House Finance, May 12)
13. S0348: Statements of apology or sympathy by medical providers would be inadmissible as evidence in lawsuits. (Senate Judiciary, May 10)
12. H5804: Increases the (approximate) maximum size of voting districts in RI from 1,900 to 4,000 voters, maintaining the provision that no voting district can include more than one ward. (House Judiciary, May 10)
11. H5264: Adds “cyberstalking and cyberharassment” to the crimes defined as domestic violence. (House Judiciary, May 10)
10. S0644: Allows a law enforcement officer to require a breath analysis of any individual under 21 whom he or she believes to be under the influence of alcohol. (Senate Judiciary, May 10)
9. H5785: Subjects colleges, universities and hospitals to a local property taxes “for essential services on a pro rata basis according to assessed property value serviced” of up to one-quarter of their assessed property value. (House Finance, May 11)
8. H5644: Creates a new section of criminal law that defines crimes against the public trust. Introduced at the request of the Attorney General. (House Finance, May 11)
7. You thought the annual funding-formula follies had gone away, just because we passed the magic funding formula that would forever be used to distribute state education aid? H5246 would freeze the regionalization bonus in the new state education “funding formula” at a permanent value of 2%, H5399 would require “a separate specific appropriation to each regional school district”, H5843 would add “urban collaboratives” to list of funding-formula money recipients, and H5491 and H5492 would make changes related to school housing aid. (House Finance, May 12)
6. H5837: Restores the Rhode Island car tax to its pre-1998 condition, which I think means there would be no state reimbursement and that cities and towns would all be free to set their own rates. (House Finance, May 11)
5. H5596: “Notwithstanding any provision in the general laws to the contrary, the general assembly shall not authorize, award or allow legislative grants. Legislative grants are hereby defined as monetary awards to nongovernmental, or nonquasi-governmental, entities”. (House Finance, May 11)
4. H5614: Limits the amount of general public assistance to be paid to an aid-recipient to the amount determined at the initial application for assistance, regardless of the birth of additional children. (House Finance, May 12)
3. S0243: If the Mortgage Registration Electronic Systems appear “in the chain of the title of a mortgaged estate”, then statutory power of sale laws do not apply, which means that the party holding the mortgage has to get judicial approval in order to foreclose. Some detail on what MERS is is available here, from the Wall Street Journal. This is a short but specific bill, with some potentially very important property rights ramifications. (Senate Judiciary, May 10)
2. H5849: If a school committee overspends its budget, “authority for expenditure of funds, including the entering into contracts for goods and services and collective bargaining agreements” is transferred to the city or town council for 5 years. (House Finance, May 12)
1. H6103: The civil unions bill. (House Judiciary, May 11)

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13 years ago

“S0348: Statements of apology or sympathy by medical providers would be inadmissible as evidence in lawsuits.”
What an idiotic bill. None of the legitimate bases for inadmissibility apply in this scenario. Of course an apology should be admissible, it could be directly relevant. In fact, apologies normally inadmissible as hearsay are often allowed under an exception precisely because they are so important!
“H5264: Adds “cyberstalking and cyberharassment” to the crimes defined as domestic violence.”
90% of AnchorRising is going to jail.

13 years ago

Of course H5614 won’t see the light of day, but it’s about time. You go on public assistance after one child and then figure out that you’ll make more if you have more children, so you keep popping them out? Doesn’t make sense. You want to have additional children that you can’t afford, you figure out how to pay for them.
As for the apology, I’m all for it. Sometimes stuff happens. If someone makes a mistake, they should be able to apologize to the victim. The problem is the extent of which the lawyers jump on the mistake. “Oh you apologized? Then you must be the most inept and clumsy doctor ever!” No, stuff happens sometimes.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
13 years ago

“Oh you apologized? Then you must be the most inept and clumsy doctor ever!”
“First, do no harm”

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
13 years ago

This tracks the Bulk Sales Act. Assuming the taxes are legitimate, I don’t see why they shouldn’t have the same rights as other creditors.

13 years ago

I would think there are times when a patient might either drop or not file a suit if the physician simply apologizes. However not all would. And if the apology is admissible and seen as evidence of guilt, then no one would ever apologize.
If lawyers need a doctor to apologize to prove their case, it was pretty flimsy to begin with.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

I was misdiagnosed or non-diagnosed regarding a condition I had for 8 years and involving 7 doctors.
Was it malpractice?They were good doctors with outstanding reputations.
A first year resident at the VA finally made the right call by just talking to me.Amazing.
I had a 5 hour operation and the condition is now alleviated but the length of time to arrive at the correct answer left me with damage that no surgery can fully correct due to the progressive aggravation of the condition(incisional hernia complicated by adhesions and radiation scarring).
Am I feeling like suing someone?No.There was no gross negligence or malicious intent-they just didn’t know.
I’m just relieved to be rid of the constant pain.

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