Coming up in Committee: Seventeen Sets of Bills and a Bunch of Community Service Grants Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, April 10 – April 12, Part 1

One set of items on the House Finance agenda very different from anything that has come up in this session so far are labeled officially as “community service grants”, which are being heard at three separate early afternoon hearings this week…

Local Impact: New Shoreham, North Kingstown, Providence, Smithfield 2, Warren.
17. S2706: The continuing battle in this session to make small-scale renting of motor vehicles more regulated and more difficult. This one says you have to be licensed to rent one motor vehicle one time during a year; current law says you don’t have to be licensed until you rent “more than five motor vehicles” (S Corporations; Tue, Apr 10).
16. S2160: A constitutional amendment(!) requiring General Assembly members to “contribute twenty percent (20%) towards the premium for health care coverage paid for by the State of Rhode Island” (S Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs; Wed, Apr 11).
15. H7996: Establishes conditions that must be met, which go beyond the IRS regulations currently in use, for someone being paid to be considered a contractor and not an employee (H Labor; Tue, Apr 10).
14. S2480: Allows hospitals to open ambulatory care sites without obtaining individual licenses for them (S Health and Human Services; Wed, Apr 11).
13. H7173: A statutory “bill of rights” for homeless individuals, including “the right to fair, decent and affordable housing in the community of his or her choosing, and access to safe and proximate shelter until such housing can be attained”. (H Judiciary; Tue, Apr 10). Question: Could an unlimited number of people use this section of the proposed law to sue for their right to housing in New Shoreham?
12. S2122: “[A]ny university, college or other non-profit educational institution which has not entered into a tax treaty with the municipality wherein it is located, shall not be considered tax exempt and its real and personal property shall be subject to taxation by the municipality in the same manner as other businesses taxed by the municipality” (S Finance; Wed, Apr 11).
11. H7722: The language on this is a little specialized, but I think this bill allows municipalities to assess “private nonprofit institutions of higher education” a $150 fee per dorm room per semester” (H Finance; Tue, Apr 10).
10B. S2727: Prohibits the use of an individual’s credit report or credit history for making employment decisions (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 10).
10A. S2411/S2678: “No application for any license or employment from any public agency or private employer shall be denied by reason of the applicant’s having been previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses”, with some exceptions (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 10).
9B. S2526: Unionization of and a binding arbitration process for (including wage and pay rate issues) Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation employees (S Labor; Wed, Apr 11).
9A. S2425: Binding arbitration on wage and pay rate issues, and non-expiring contracts for municipal employees (S Labor; Wed, Apr 11).
8. S2361: Detailed procedures for dealing with and possibly altering a patient’s “medical order for life sustaining treatment” (MOLST). A MOLST is defined as a “request regarding resuscitative measures that directs a health care provider regarding resuscitative and life sustaining measures” (S Health and Human Services; Wed, Apr 11). The basic question about this bill is whether it is intended to make it easier or harder to end life-sustaining treatment for a patient who cannot make decisions for him or herself, relative to existing law.

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