Coming up in Committee: Nine Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, February 7 – February 9
9. H7343: Allows school districts to replace school bus monitors on K through 5 buses with a suitable technical monitoring system (H Health, Education and Welfare; Wed, Feb 8).
8. Bud Art. 28: In addition to involving some specific financial details relating to Central Falls, including an extra-constitutional appropriation of local revenue, this article also gives municipal receivers the power to negotiate contracts of 5 years in duration in any community where they have been installed. (Current Rhode Island law says that municipal contracts cannot extend beyond three years, though this law is routinely ignored in practice) (S Finance; Thu, Feb 9).
7. S2121: “With respect to police officers employed by the town of Johnston, only those police officers hired on or after July 1,2011 shall be eligible to be members of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of the state of Rhode Island” (S Finance; Thu, Feb 9). (Still have the same question here: Isn’t the MERS system the pension system in Rhode Island considered to be the one in the best shape?)
6. H7059: Makes the intent to defraud in a residential mortgage transaction into a crime, whether or not “any particular person was harmed financially in the transaction”. The bill also extends the statute of limitations for various crimes, including residential mortgage fraud, making false statements to obtain a loan or credit and “bank fraud”, to 10 years (H Judiciary; Wed, Feb 8).
5. Bud Art. 12/Bud Art. 26: Changes the state-aid allocation to municipalities, including how local capital education expenses are reimbursed, how Central Falls education expenses are funded by the state, and a one-year extension on a “temporary” appropriation of gambling revenue to distressed communities (S Finance; Thu, Feb 9).
4. H7317: “Legal fees pertaining to a labor contract entered into by a city or town, shall not exceed two tenths of one percent (0.2%) of the value of the contract”. (H Labor; Tue, Feb 7) (Editorial Note: Justin’s view on the problem with this bill is available here).
3. H7283/S2180: Replaces a 5-section/7-subsection part of the law prohibiting for-profit “corporations, subsidiaries, or affiliates” from applying to “convert” more than 1 hospital in a 3-year period, with 1 section (sans subsections) expressly stating that for-profits can apply to “convert” more than one hospital per year (H Corporations; Tue, Feb 7 & S Health and Human Services; Wed Feb 8).
2. H7316: Prohibits municipal governments (including school committees and fire districts) from modifying or negotiating collective bargaining agreements after a primary election, until after the officials chosen in the associated general election have taken office (H Labor; Tue, Feb 7).
1. H7112: Eliminates good-behavior reduction of prison sentences for individuals convicted under sections 11-23-1 (Murder), 11-26-1.4 (Kidnapping of a minor), 11-37-2 (First degree sexual assault), 11-37-8.1 (First degree child molestation sexual assault) or 11-37-8.3 (Second degree child molestation sexual assault) of Rhode Island law (H Judiciary; Wed, Feb 8).