Coming up in Committee: Forty (Count Them, Forty) Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, April 2 – April 4, Part 1
Local Impact: Burrillville 2, Central Falls, Coventry 2, Glocester, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Warwick, West Warwick 2.
Inobvious Priorities: H5529 >> Ice cream vendors must purchase their ice cream from a licensed ice cream wholesaler. H5544 >> Removes Portuguese people from the list of people covered by the Minority Business Enterprise section of the law.
40C. S0713: A non-binding resolution, where the Senate suggests that different department heads coordinate their economic and workforce development efforts, and that a “cabinet” of such department heads (i) accept grant funds and in-kind contributions from governmental and private entities; (ii) hold hearings; (iii) Invite academic experts and other witnesses to submit testimony; and (iv) contract with experts and consultants as necessary to inform deliberations and recommendations. (S Commerce; Thu, Apr 4)
40B. S0712: Charges the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Division of planning with developing a “long-term economic development vision and policy for the state of Rhode Island and a strategic plan for implementing the policy” by October 31, 2013. (S Commerce; Thu, Apr 4) [Your own joke about the deadline for the report being on the same day that trick-or-treating occurs goes here].
40A. S0718: Changes the name of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and lays out a set of “roles and responsibilities” for board members. (S Commerce; Thu, Apr 4)
39. S0735: Mandates that 20% of an (already existing) 0.3 mills per kilowatt-hour surcharge on electric rates “be allocated to the office of energy resources in administering this program for the purposes of developing, promoting and financing renewable energy programs”. (S Finance; Tue, Apr 2)
38. S0755: Allows “developmental disability agencies” to operate their own “self-insurance” plans for “employees, retirees and other beneficiaries”. (S Health & Human Services; Thu, Apr 4) From the text, it’s not immediately clear whether this bill is closing a loophole or defining an exception, but it does raise an interesting question of why a specific type of employer needs its own health insurance section of the law.
37. H5384: Adds “juvenile program workers and shift coordinators of the Rhode Island department of children, youth, and families” to the definition peace office in Rhode Island. (H Judiciary; Tue, Apr 2)
36. H5561: Mandates that “a health care provider providing treatment to a patient in a hospital” inform “appropriate law enforcement personnel” if “such disclosure appears necessary to alert law enforcement to the commission and nature of a crime, the location of such crime or the victim(s) of such crime; or the identity, description, location of the perpetrator of such crime”. (H Judiciary; Wed, Apr 3)
35. H5080: Some changes to the Bristol County Water Authority, the most interesting of which are ones like “All actions taken by the board of directors must be in compliance with the Rhode Island General Laws ‘Access to Public Records Act’…and the ‘Open Meetings Act'”, which basically make clear that the BCWA cannot claim that it has some nebulous not-quite-government status that allows it to evade requirements for conducting business in the open. (H Municipal Government; Thu, Apr 4)
34. S0739: Completes the process of moving the East Greenwich fire district into the Town of East Greenwich. (S Finance; Wed, Apr 3)
33. H5117 eliminates pet-care services from the list of exceptions of services to which the sales tax does not apply (i.e. repeals the sales tax on pet-care services). H5218 eliminates taxicab and limousine services from the list of exceptions of services to which the sales tax does not apply (i.e. repeals the sales tax on Taxicab and limousine services). (H Finance; Wed, Apr 3)
32. S0380: A number of changes intended to improve the monitoring of fire-department compliance with NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. (Senate Housing & Municipal Government; Tue, Apr 2)
31. H5780: Eight pages of regulation on the use of “unmanned aerial vehicles”. (H Judiciary; Tue, Apr 2)