Coming up in Committee: Twenty Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, March 19 – March 21

Local Impact: Johnston, Middletown 2
Inobvious Priorities: S0513 > Requires school districts to develop plans to promote purchases of locally grown fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

20. S0012: The father-daughter dance bill. (S Education; Wed, Mar 20)
19. H5579: Changes to zoning regulations intended to facilitate the development of “small wind energy systems”. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Mar 21)
18. H5616: Requires the state’s office of energy resources to “collect price, inventory and product delivery dates, including amounts and types of product sold, and other information which is necessary and material regarding petroleum products, natural gas and other fuels available for supply within the state from wholesalers and resellers of petroleum products”. Submitted at the request of the Governor (H Environment and Natural Resources; Thu, Mar 21).
17. The Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee will hear several bills concerning the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation on Wednesday, March 20. Two that stand out are S0314 which prohibits recyclables from being deposited at the central landfill, and S0728 which repeals the prohibition on the RIRC from studying incineration.
16. S0119: Requires the children of recipients of public cash and medical assistance to maintain a 80% school attendance rate as a condition for receiving aid. (S Education; Wed, Mar 20)
15. H5856: Directs the state Board of Education to create a policy for awarding academic credit for military training, experience and coursework at public colleges and universities. (H Veterans` Affairs; Thu, Mar 21)
14. S0662: Dissolves the Worker’s compensation investigations unit of the Rhode Island state police. (S Labor; Wed, Mar 20) Several other bills on worker’s compensation will be considered at this hearing.
13. S0125: For students attending “the East Providence campus of Bradley Hospital”, “the child’s sending district or district where the child resides” and not East Providence “shall be responsible for payment to Bradley Hospital directly”. (S Finance; Wed, Mar 21)
12. H5400: Extends a moratorium on licensing of new nursing facilities that was supposed to expire on July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2016. (H Corporations; Tue, Mar 19)
11. H5507: Prohibits employers from “from inquiring whether [a job applicant] has ever been convicted of any crime”. (H Labor; Wed, Mar 20)
10. On Thursday, March 21, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold its advice and consent hearings on the appointments of George Nee, Shannon E. Brawley, Nancy E. Carriuolo, Roland Fiore and Jason E. Kelly to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
9. H5434: Establishes a fairly lengthy list of “defects or omissions” that a mortgage agreement may contain and still be considered valid (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 19) Several other bills related to real estate transactions and mortgages will be considered at this hearing.
8. S0509: Strong presumption that school suspensions should be of the in-school variety, and a requirement that the State Education Commissioner to study whether school discipline practices disproportionately impact students “based on race or ethnicity”. (H Labor; Wed, Mar 20)
7. H5536: Directs Rhode Island’s public college and universities to intensify their remedial programs for incoming students, and to standardize credit and coursework that can be transferred between institutions. (H Education Welfare; Wed, Mar 20)
6. H5787: A one-sided limit (i.e. it applies to the city or town only) on “[L]egal fees pertaining to a labor contract entered into by a city or town”, which “shall not exceed two tenths of one percent (0.2%) of the value of the contract”. (H Labor; Wed, Mar 20)
5. H5699: Terms of municipal labor contracts would not expire until a new contract was agreed upon. (H Labor; Wed, Mar 20)
4B. S0540: Among other things, charges Rhode Island’s “Health care planning and accountability advisory council” with “calculating the annual Rhode Island total health expenditures to establish both a benchmark and growth targets”, and specifies standards for “patient-centered medical homes”. (S Health & Human Services; Thu, Mar 21)
4A. S0141: Instructs the state health insurance commissioner to monitor a transition away from the use of fee-for-service medicine in Rhode Island. (S Health & Human Services; Thu, Mar 21)
3. H5392: Exempts building which pass a fire-code inspection from future inspections for the next 10 years. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Mar 21)
2. H5776: Repeal of Rhode Island’s voter ID law. (H Judiciary; Tue, Mar 19)
1. Rhode Island’s same-sex marriage bills; S0708 which places same-sex marriage on the ballot as a Constitutional referendum, along with one of the most expansive regimes for the protection of freedom of religion in marriage in the US, and S0038 which authorizes same-sex marriage directly by statute, along with one of the narrowest regimes — perhaps so narrow as to be non-existent — for the protection of freedom of religion in marriage in the US. (S Judiciary; Thu, Mar 21)

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