Coming up in Committee: Twenty-One Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, April 24 – April 26, Part 1
…and to be honest, I only got it down to twenty-one through liberal use of part-A’s and part-B’s. It’s definitely a busy week for disposing of legislation at the RI General Assembly…
Local Impact: Coventry 2, Middletown/Newport, North Kingstown, North Providence, Richmond.
Local Impact bill of special note: Woonsocket (the supplemental property tax).
21. H7591: Adds to the charter of Johnson and Wales that “the real and personal property of the corporation shall be exempt from state and local taxes” (H Finance; Tue, Apr 24). What are the possible interactions, between this bill and other state and municipal efforts to tax non-profits?
20. S2556: Mandates that all health insurance plans issued in Rhode Island include a “telehealth” component, defined as “the mode of delivering health care services and public health via information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a patient’s health care while the patient is at the originating site and the health care provider is at a distant site” (S Health and Human Services; Wed, Apr 25).
19. S2149: Police officers who cross out of their municipality in pursuit of a driver whom they intend to stop for violating the motor vehicle code maintain the authority they would have in their home jurisdiction “to arrest and hold in custody” the driver being pursued. (Presently, police officers would retain their authority to arrest only if they already were intending to make an arrest during the pursuit) (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 24).
18. S2336: An extension of parts of campaign finance regulation to local financial town meetings & referendums (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 24).
17. Senate Finance Committee advice and consent hearing on the reappointment of 3 members (Elizabeth Fournier, Linda L. Cwiek, David Quinn) and new appointment of 2 members (David Robert, Kenneth M. Mallette) to the state Vehicle Values Commission (Thursday, Apr 26).
16. H7225: Provides for stays of foreclosure for active duty or deployed armed service members (H Veterans’ Affairs; Thu, Apr 26).
15. H7710: Requires a search warrant for the search of any “portable electronic device” in the possession of an individual under arrest (H Judiciary; Tue, Apr 24).
14. S2052: 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”. (S Housing and Municipal Government; Thu, Apr 26). But could an unlimited number of people use this section of the proposed law to sue for their right to housing in New Shoreham?
13, H7810: Assesses a $50 per semester “public transportation fee” on students attending RI public colleges and university. In return, student IDs will be enabled to serve as passes for public transportation services (H Finance; Tue, Apr 24). Of course, the irony of this bill is that if a student wanted to take public transportation to his or her polling place on an election day, Arthur Handy, the primary sponsor of the bill, would be OK with someone having to show an ID card to ride the bus but not with having to show an ID at the polling place.
12. S2223: $100 fine for using a non-hands free cell-phone while driving (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 24).
11. S2248: An attempt “to implement waste, fraud and abuse detection, prevention and recovery solutions” to Medicaid, RIte care and RIte share (and to Obamacare, to whatever degree it is implemented) (S Health and Human Services; Wed, Apr 25). The question is whether waste, fraud and abuse be effectively countered, all other things being held equal, by adding law that basically says “the state shall try and detect it using technology” and then having the Department of Health and Human Services produce a report on how well it’s worked.
10. S2659: Gives city and town solicitors the power to investigate false claims against the state and municipalities, and bring civil actions against the perpetrators (S Judiciary; Tue, Apr 24). It’s worth noting that Senators Dominick Ruggerio and Frank Ciccone, who have both been in the news of late for reasons different from good-government advocacy, are both sponsors of this bill.