Coming up in Committee: Fourteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, March 6 – March 8, Part 2
3C. H7462/H7465: Constitutional Amendment whereby the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island would be chosen together (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 6).
3B. H7219: Repeal of the voter ID law (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 6).
3A. H7426/S2060: Elimination of the master lever from Rhode Island general election ballots (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 6 & S Judiciary; Tue, Mar 6). S2059, striking additional mentions of the master lever in Rhode Island law, is being heard in Sentate Judiciary on the same day.
2. Bud Art. 24, section 2, 5 & 6: Expansion of the hotel tax to 1-room bed and breakfasts (currently 3 rooms have to be available at a B&B for it to be taxed as a hotel) and the increase in the meals and beverage tax (H Finance; Wed, Mar 7 & S Finance; Tue, Mar 6).
1C. Contract terms for firefighters (H7618) and police officers (H7619) would not expire until a new contract is reached (H Labor; Thu, Mar 8).
1B. H7620: Permanent contracts and binding arbitration for municipal employees (H Labor; Thu, Mar 8). The combination of this item with the previous one is also known as “Donald Lally’s Festival of Municipal Contracting”.
1A. H7617: Binding arbitration for school teachers (H Labor; Thu, Mar 8). The bill includes a provision reading that “no certified public school teacher shall participate in a strike”. This presumably replaces the current section of RI law which reads “nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to accord to certified public school teachers the right to strike”. Is this kind of trade what RI teacher’s unions refer to as bargaining in good faith?