Coming up in Committee: Nineteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, March 5 – March 7, Part 1
Local Impact: Coventry
Inobvious Priorities: H5101 >> no driving with a dog in your lap; S0008 >> warning labels that say cell-phones may cause brain cancer (for the record, the American Cancer Society’s position is here); S0171 >> laundries must post prices of each garment cleaned.
19. One inobvious priority slides its way into the main list. H5775 redefines the meaning of red, green and yellow traffic lights. I’m not kidding. (H Judiciary; Wed Mar 6)
18. Bud. Art. 21: Converts a $4.2M loan used to obtain matching funds for the purchase of buses that was taken from a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority “revolving loan fund” into “a direct grant” that “need not be repaid”. (S Finance; Tue, Mar 5)
17. S0341: An assortment of loosenings of criminal law, including the decriminalization of a first offense for shoplifting or driving without a license, and an overall change so that “a petty misdemeanor shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a criminal offense”. (S Judiciary; Tue, Mar 5) The bill currently posted on the GA website is unamended from the version held for further study last week by this same committee. Will the committee being dealing with a Sub A?
16. H5291: Bars anyone under age 21 from nightclubs. (H Corporations; Wed, Mar 6)
15. Bud. Art. 22/Bud. Art. 23: Places the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation in charge of reissuing $25M (initially) in historic tax-credits that were issued by the state but have since been “abandoned”. (H Finance; Tue, Mar 5)
14. H5510: Municipalities that require that retiree health benefits be provided through Medicare would be required to reimburse costs of enrollment. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Mar 7)
13. Various changes to criminal record expungement. S0094 would extend eligibility for expungement from first-offenders to persons who have “been convicted of not more than two misdemeanor offenses” when they seek expungement. S0338 would extend eligibility for expungement from first-offenders to persons who have “not been previously convicted of or placed on probation for a felony for a period twenty (20) years or a misdemeanor for a period of ten (10) years” when they seek expungement. S0423 allows persons convicted of up to six misdemeanors to have them all expunged. (S Judiciary; Tue, Mar 5)
12. H5442: Prohibits Rhode Island employers from requiring proof-of-citizenship that is more stringent than Federal law “as now or hereafter amended”. (H Labor; Tue, Mar 5)
11. H5344: Disability pensions from municipal or quasi-municipal entities would be reduced by any amounts that a pensioner earned from other sources. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Mar 7)