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)

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Monique
Monique(@monique-chartier)
Editor
8 years ago

(Great job with these, Andrew.)
In view of this insane effort

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)

to expand Rhode Island’s already growing expungement trend *, my question is, why is the General Assembly bothering to add even one more law to the books???
*digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/ProJo/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=VFBKLzIwMTMvMDMvMDU.&pageno=Mg..&entity=QXIwMDIwMA..&view=ZW50aXR5

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

Another rejection of the concept that actions should have consequences. Sometimes I think we have concentrated the criminal class in the legislature of this State.
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?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Not taking a position here, but I think we are looking at another “unintended consequence” problem. With the increase in “background checks” I think more than just gun owners are being effected. For instance, should a 40 year old guy who has kept his nose clean be harnessed with a felony conviction because he stole a car, or broke into a house, when he was 18? Maybe yes, maybe no. In many places that makes him unemployable.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
8 years ago

“For instance, should a 40 year old guy who has kept his nose clean be harnessed with a felony conviction because he stole a car, or broke into a house, when he was 18? Maybe yes, maybe no. In many places that makes him unemployable”
Posted by Warrington Faust
Unless they are tea-party favorites like Darrell Issa, who was arrested FIVE TIMES (we all know that criminals are arrested only 20% of the time so Mr Issa could have broken the law 20 times OR MORE to get caught 5 times) Issa was arrested TWICE on illegal weapons charges, TWICE for car theft, a THIRD time for fraudulently faking a car theft. Then there was allegations of arson. Issa quadrupled his building insurance from about $100,000 to $460,000 . Also, flammable liquid had been poured on the only area WITHOUT sprinklers.
Makes me think about how many crimes he got away with

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Thanks, Spammy, for the textbook example of emotionalism, cherry-picking and hyperbole. Of course, since he wasn’t convicted, he wouldn’t be eligible to have a felony expunged from his record… So once again, your point????

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

I am afraid that Sammy has a point. “First offense” usually translates to “first time he was caught”. Still, there are legitimate “first offenders” who only got caught because they were so inexperienced. Some of those turned away from “a life of crime”.

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