Coming up in Committee: Nineteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, March 5 – March 7, Part 2

10B. The House and Senate Judiciary Committees will hear large rafts of bills on motor vehicle law on Tuesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 7, respectively. {H5505, S0470, S0564} and S0355 toughen penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, H5779 for driving to endanger, and {H5379, S0565} for both; H5666, submitted at the request of the Governor, toughens the maximum penalty for driving under the influence with a child under age 13 in the vehicle, but allows the prison sentence to be suspended or deferred (currently not allowed); H5177 toughens penalties for hit-and-run offenses, while H5691 loosens the penalty for multiple moving offenses; {H5675, S0456}, S0218 and S0417 tighten laws on texting while driving . (Bills in curly braces are companions to one another).
10A. Bills to help cars enforce the law on their own. {H5149, H5338, S0563}/S0566 would add an ignition interlock requirement to the possible sentences for convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. H5774 would replace license suspension for convictions for driving under the influence with the use of ignition interlocks (though fines and prison sentences could also still be applied as penalties). H5669 would require installation of a device prohibiting cell phone usage in the vehicle of an individual convicted of texting while driving. (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 5 & S Judiciary; Thu, Mar 7)
9. Bud. Art. 11: A plan to use $10M per year in municipal aid, for three years, to incentivize municipalities to transition their locally administered pension plans into MERS, and to create “Funding Improvement Plans” that receive state approval. (S Finance; Wed, Mar 6)
8. S0460: Increases penalties for crimes committed in association with “criminal street gangs”. (S Judiciary; Thu, Mar 7)
7. H5603: Allows individuals “serving in a branch of the uniformed military services” 18 years of age or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. (H Corporations; Wed, Mar 6)
6. H5343: Limits cities and towns which can participate in the statewide Municipal Employees Retirement System to those “that do not participate in any other pension plan or system”. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Mar 7) Does this mean cities and towns are not allowed to join MERS if, afterwards, they would still have one or more pension plans outside of MERS — or does it mean that they’re prohibited from joining MERS, if they have a plan outside now?
5. H5204: Requires all licensed healthcare organizations in Rhode Island to “establish a system for identifying patients or residents who could benefit from palliative care”, where palliative care “includes, but is not limited to, discussions of the patient’s goals for treatment; discussion of treatment options appropriate to the patient, including, where appropriate, hospice care; and comprehensive pain and symptom management”. (H Health, Education and Welfare, Wed Mar 6) The question raised by this bill is what it is that the legislature wants to mandate that healthcare providers discuss, that they think is not being discussed now.
4. H5318: Adds, to the section of the law allowing school committees to “establish joint purchasing agreements between and among themselves or with the Rhode Island Association of School Committees”, a section allowing school committees to “to enter into agreements, trusts, contracts, consortia, and other arrangements among themselves and/or with any college or university, and/or with the Rhode Island association of school committees”, expanding both the scope of who can be contracted with, and what can be contracted for. (H Health, Education and Welfare, Wed Mar 6) This is at once the argument for and against “regionalization”, for in a general sense that it can make sense for state government to encourage school districts to collaborate on certain activities, against in the Rhode Island specific sense that quirks in RI law and governing practices can act as impediments to sensible collaboration, with “regionalization” taking the form of the state saying to local governments that since we prevented you from doing what makes sense, we’re now taking away your autonomy. This kind of change to the law can help the “against” dynamic from happening.
3. H5506: Extends binding arbitration for police and fire contracts to retirees. (H Labor; Tue, Mar 5) Would this bill have meant that the deal Angel Taveras made with Providence’s unions could have been made subject to an arbitrator?
2. Bud. Art. 9: Lowers the corporate tax rate in Rhode Island, from 9% now to 8% in 2014, to 7.5% in 2015, to 7% from 2016 onward. This article also contains several other tax-code related items, including a long section on penalties for tax-preparers. (S Finance; Tue, Mar 5 & H Finance; Wed, Mar 6)
1. S0220: Bans use of cell-phones while driving. (S Judiciary; Thu, Mar 7)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

1. S0220: Bans use of cell-phones while driving. (S Judiciary; Thu, Mar 7)
Everything old is new again. I remember my father telling me that there were laws banning TV’s in cars in the 50’s. What would you call that “Navigation Screen”?

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

” H5506: Extends binding arbitration for police and fire contracts to retirees. (H Labor; Tue, Mar 5) Would this bill have meant that the deal Angel Taveras made with Providence’s unions could have been made subject to an arbitrator?”
Sure enough.
Note to the G.A.: if our cities are to survive financially, binding arbitration needs to be narrowed and, in due course, eliminated, not expanded.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.