Coming up in Committee: Ten Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, February 14 – February 16

10. Bud Art. 27: Creates a restricted-receipt account for historic preservation tax-credit processing fees, to be used for reimbursing historic tax-credit processing fees (H Finance; Tue, Feb 14). Ed. note: Rational government budgeting at its finest?
9. H7406, aka the strange regulatory bill of the week: Sets a minimum price of $35.00 for transportation provided by “public motor vehicles”, which are privately owned non-taxicabs hired for individual trips (H Corporations; Tue, Feb 14). Ed. note: Does RI have a strong taxicab lobby?
8. Bud Art. 26/Bud Art. 28: Various municipal impact articles, including an extension of gambling appropriations to distressed communities, an extra-constitutional appropriation of local revenue in Central Falls, and a statutory exemption allowing a receiver to agree to longer contracts than democratically governed municipalities can (H Finance; Wed, Feb 15).
7. S2158: Moves layoff notice date for public school teachers from March 1 to June 1 (S Labor; Wed, Feb 15).
6. Bud Art. 4, Sec. 3: Creates an Office of Management and Budget within the Rhode Island Department of Administration, including a newly created director-level position to be appointed by the Director of Administration. The new OMB is given lots of responsibilities for seeking out and administering Federal grants and, as far as I can determine, there’s no offsetting reduction or consolidation of other departments related to its creation (H Finance; Thu, Feb 16).
5. H7349: Card-check unions for public employees, with a definition of “public employee” that expressly includes quasi-public entities (H Labor; Tue, Feb 14).
4. H7390: Establishes a fairly lengthy list of “defects or omissions” that a mortgage agreement may contain and still be considered valid. Somebody with knowledge of real-estate transactions should review this list, and determine if they really are all the “minor defects” that the official description claims they are (H Judiciary; Tue, Feb 14).
3. The entire House Judiciary agenda for Wed, Feb 15:

  • H7060: An extension of parts of campaign finance regulation to local financial town meetings & referendums.
  • H7086: Moves the power to nominate judicial magistrates to the Governor, away from Supreme Court justices/Superior Court and other judges where it currently resides.
  • H7089: Allowing voters to choose their political party on the day of the primary, instead of having to be registered 90-days beforehand.
  • H7388: Requires the legislature to disregard the choice for President made by Rhode Island voters, and assign Presidential electors to the winner of the popular vote as determined by other states instead.

2B. H7201: Requires the faculty of Mayoral Academies to join the state teachers’ retirement system (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Feb 15). Patrick’s earlier take on the bill is available here.
2A. H7344: Requires that students be assigned to Mayoral academies based on randomized offers (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Feb 15). Ed. note: I notice that 3 of the sponsors on this bill are from Providence. Where is their companion bill, requiring that students be assigned to Classical High at random?
1. H7286/S2258: Teachers’ right-to-work bill, prohibiting membership in a labor organization from being a condition of employment for teachers, teachers aids or specialists who work in an educational setting (H Health Education and Welfare; Wed, Feb 15 & S Labor; Wed, Feb 15).

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12 years ago

“Card-check unions for public employees, with a definition of “public employee” that expressly includes quasi-public entities”
‘Cause public unionization has worked out so well in Rhode Island. So let’s augment our budget shortfalls and unfunded pension systems by expanding public unionization.

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