Coming up in Committee: Forty Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, April 2 – April 4, Part 3

20. H5514: Grants “deputy sheriffs, capitol police officers, environmental police officers, juvenile program workers, shift coordinators, airport crash/rescue firefighters, airport police, and campus police officers employed by the state of Rhode Island or any Rhode Island quasi-public agency” retirement benefits equal to those of state police officers. (H Finance; Wed, Apr 3) Isn’t this the kind of sudden change to a pension program that can create future financial difficulties?
19. S0736: Allow a family qualified to receive a child-care subsidy because their income is below 180% of the Federal poverty level to continue to receive the subsidy if their income rises to 225% of the poverty level. (S Health & Human Services; Tue, Apr 2)
18. H5593: Allows local chief fire officials or chief building officials to grant waivers from the state building code. (H Corporations; Wed, Apr 3)
17. H5201: Reduces the fee “for plan review, by the state fire marshal’s office, under the provisions of the Fire Safety Code”, which can exceed $3000 under the current statutory formula, depending on construction costs involved, to a maximum of $150. (H Finance; Tue, Apr 2)
16. H5504: Eliminates the requirement that mail-in ballots requested but not used be returned, along with a statement by the voter that he or she has chosen not to use the mail ballot, by the day of the election. (H Judiciary; Tue, Apr 2) Submitted by William San Bento on behalf of the Board of Elections. Let’s make it easier to get those mail-in ballots early and often!
15. H5719: Requires buyers at mortgage sales to “make appropriate arrangements to keep the foreclosed property from becoming vacant, including, without limitation, selling or leasing the property”. (H Corporations; Wed, Apr 3)
14. H5194: Exempts capital gains resulting from the sales of an “ownership interest in an entity incorporated and having its headquarters located in the state of Rhode Island” that has been held for 3 years (and that meets a few other conditions) from RI income taxes. (H Finance; Thu, Apr 4)
13. H5176: Allows fire districts to adopt four-part property classification systems for assessing taxes and to adopt supplemental tax-increases, and mandates that the current year budget is automatically renewed (with an escalator for bonded indebtedness) if the referendum on the budget proposal for next year fails. (H Finance; Wed, Apr 3)
12. H5285: “The Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2013”, including such provisions as requiring police officers to document the grounds of their “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” searches, to contact a dispatcher or supervising officer, where practicable, before such searches, and requiring traffic stops to be recorded when a police vehicle is equipped to do so. (H Judiciary; Wed, Apr 3)
11B. H5158: Creates an automatic (and presumably non-refundable) $33,200 tax-credit against any required estate tax. The official explanation says this value was picked to create an exemption for the first $1M of an estate. (H Finance; Tue, Apr 2)
11A. H5470: Keeps the current estate tax structure, raising the floor to $1,5M, which means an estate worth $1,500,000 is assessed no tax, while an estate worth $1,500,001 is assessed a tax on the full amount. This bill also adds an explicit statement that the estate tax is “a tax upon the right to transfer”, which doesn’t appear in the existing law. (H Finance; Tue, Apr 2)

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