Coming up in Committee: Twenty-Eight Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, March 26 – March 28, Part 1
Inobvious Priorities: H5278 > Labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms; H5280 > Standards for handling raw milk.
28. H5654: Calamari declared to be the state appetizer (H Health, Education & Welfare; Wed, Mar 27).
27. S0012: Father-daugther dance bill. (S Education; Wed, Mar 27)
26. On Tuesday, March 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear several bills on the regulation of the mortgage and property rental industries. S0547 (along with House companion H5512) contains this intriguing phrase: “The failure to present the mortgage assignment for recording within the time limits stated herein shall render the mortgage void, but shall not nullify the underlying indebtedness”.
25. H5519/H5513: Tightening of regulations on precious metal dealers, including a requirement that a licensed dealer have an address in an area zoned for business, and that a $50 fee per branch be paid on an annual basis. The latter bill has a particular emphasis on deterring precious metals dealers from buying public property like streetlights and manhole covers from people who walk in off the street. (H Corporations; Tue, Mar 26)
24. H5874: Prohibits recyclables from being deposited at the central landfill. (H Environment & Natural Resources; Tue, Mar 26)
23. H5331: 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”. (H Judiciary; Wed, Mar 27)
22. An agenda filled with changes to property insurance, long-term care insurance, life insurance and other kinds of insurance law. (S Commerce; Tue, Mar 26)
21. H5521: Prohibits the establishment of new check-cashing businesses in Providence within a two-mile radius of another check cashing business. (H Corporations; Tue, Mar 26)
20. H5571 extends 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. H5328 allows persons convicted of up to six misdemeanors to have them all expunged. (H Judiciary; Wed, Mar 27)
19. S0511: Directs Rhode Island’s public college and universities to create a reverse-transfer policy “to use credits earned at a four (4) year institution for an associate’s degree at a two (2) year institution”. (S Education; Wed, Mar 27)
18. S0456: Defines five ways to commit the crime of residential mortgage fraud. (S Judiciary; Tue, Mar 26)
17. H5388/H5577: Establishes conditions that must be met, which go beyond the IRS regulations currently in use, for someone to be considered a contractor and not an employee. (H Labor; Tue, Mar 26)
16. S0092: Prohibits health insurance policies from requiring that “any alternative brand name prescription drug” be used prior to a brand-name drug that’s “prescribed by a licensed prescriber”. (Generic drugs can still be given limited preference) (S Health & Human Services; Tue, Mar 26)
15. The annual raft of bills on automobile insurance and auto-body shops (H Corporations; Wed, Mar 27):
- H5263: No totaling a vehicle if it can be repaired for less than 75% of its market value.
- H5522: Claimant gets to pick the auto-body shop; insurance company must negotiate with them.
- H5797: “The automobile body repair shop shall document any agreement with a consumer whereby repairs detailed in an appraisal, and paid for by an insurer have not been made”.
- H5798: Repeals the section of the law requiring auto insurers to conduct “auto body repair labor rate surveys”.
“H5278 > Labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms; H5280 > Standards for handling raw milk.”
BECAUSE WHAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE THE STATE’S BUSINESS CLIMATE IS MORE REGULATIONS.
“The failure to present the mortgage assignment for recording within the time limits stated herein shall render the mortgage void, but shall not nullify the underlying indebtedness”.
I suspect this is a remedy for the current system whereby the mortgage companies have devised a “private recording system”. They avoid substantial fees. Making the mortgage “void” permits the filing of a subsequent “valid” mortgage, but does not eliminate the “pay off” of the prior mortgage. Finding out who to pay off can be difficult, I expect an escrow system will develop.
21. H5521 — I find this one shocking. Why would anyone want to prevent competition in any type of business, let alone one with such a high potential for abuse?
Mario, as you may know, the juicy part of checkjing cashing services is not the the people who don’t have a bank. What they seek is people, like contractors, who might want to cash a $20,000 check which will not appear on their bank records. That being the case, they are probably “wired” enough to seek to prevent competition.
Great job with this, Andrew. The fact that so many of them make me want to scream is not your fault.
Are we … no, make that, is Smith Hill ever going to start climbing that learning curve? Bills like many that Andrew listed here ARE THE REASON THAT RHODE ISLAND BECAME so business unfriendly, with the corresponding poor economy, high unemployment and (attention, big gov’t spenders) LESS THAN OPTIMAL TAX REVENUE.