May 1, 2012

Coming up in Committee: Fourteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly on May 1

Carroll Andrew Morse

Here are the RI General Assembly bills of interest for Tuesday (a few with hearings already underway):

Local impact: New Shoreham, Pawtucket

T14. H8020: "The director of administration shall not approve any contract or contract for services with a nonprofit organization or agency unless the organization or agency fully discloses all executives’ compensation and administrative costs" (H Finance; Tue May 1).

T13. 7406: Sets a minimum price of $35.00 for transportation provided by "public motor vehicles", i.e. privately owned non-taxicabs hired for individual trips (H Corporations; Tue, May 1).

T12. H7468: Bans persons under 21 from admittance to nightclubs where alcohol is served (H Judiciary; Tue, May 1).

T11. H7359: Allows out-of-state businesses to operate in RI during a declared disaster without being immediately treated, for purposes of taxation and regulation, as having opened a branch office in RI (H Corporations; Tue, May 1).

T10. Various changes to criminal law submitted at the request of the Attorney General. A candidate for the most interesting is S2650 which criminalizes residential mortgage fraud (S Judiciary; Tue, May 1).

T9. H7130: No tolls on the Mt. Hope bridge. Also, H7457 would transfer control of the Sakonnet River bridge to a newly created "Turnpike and bridge division" within the department of transportation (H Finance; Tue May, 1).

T8. H7409: A prohibition on price gouging of essential commodities "upon a declaration of a state of emergency by the governor, or federal disaster declaration by the president, or during an actual or anticipated market emergency" (H Corporations; Tue, May 1).

T7B. H7374: The official description says this bill "eliminates the two-tiered time limit", i.e. creates a single time-limit, for direct welfare cash-assistance. Among other changes, a time limit of 24 months for people participating in "The Rhode Island Works Program" is replaced in the law with a time limit of 48 months (H Finance; Tue May 1).

T7A. H7105/S2284: Extends the state's child-care subsidy to families at 225% of the Federal poverty level from 180%, if "the family requires child care in order to work at paid employment" (H Finance; Tue May 1 & S Finance; Tue, May 1).

T6. S2254: "Any private contract or employee who has worked more than thirty-six months whether or not consecutive, at a state department, performing services similar to or in substitution of work normally performed by state employees within that department, shall be automatically converted to a fully funded full-time equivalent position within that department" (S Finance; Tue, May 1).

T5. H7710: Government funded "family planning" through "eligibility pursuant to section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XXI) of the social security act" (Medicaid?) for individuals "whose income is no greater than two-hundred fifty percent (250%) of the federal poverty level" (H Finance; Tue May 1).

T4. H7265: A $75,000,000 bond question "to provide funds to the Housing Resources Commission to be allocated to finance the cost of the Neighborhood Opportunities Program" to be placed on the November ballot (H Finance; Tue May 1).

T3. S2201 raises the value of estates exempted from the estate tax to $1,500,000 (to be annually adjusted for inflation); S2172 changes estate tax rules on "farmlands and other real and tangible property associated with agricultural operations" (S Finance; Tue, May 1).

T2B. S2108: Restores and freezes the regionalization bonus in the state education aid "funding formula" at 2% (S Finance; Tue, May 1).

T2A. S2757: Changes how debt service is considered in maintenance of effort calculations for school-district budgeting. (S Finance, Tue, May 1).

T1. S2656:/H7899: Resolution calling for Congress to approve a Constitutional amendment that would allow the government to restrict the political activities of corporations and individuals (H Judiciary; May 1).