June 4, 2012

Coming up in Committee: Thirteen Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, June 4 - June 8

Carroll Andrew Morse

Usually, there's a pretty clear most important bill of the week that gets the top slot, but this week, cases could be made that any of the top 5 or 6 bills could be number one, depending on which issue areas an individual thinks are most important...

Local Impact: Bristol, Central Falls 2, Central Falls/Cumberland 2, Coventry 2 3 4 5 6 7, Cranston 2 3, Cumberland, Exeter, Middletown 2 3 4, Narragansett, Pawtucket 2 3, Portsmouth, Providence 2, Smithfield 2, Warwick 2.

13. S2816/ H7882: Adds the Governor's Office to the list of government departments that can participate in the operation of a State House gift shop (S Special Legislation and Veterans' Affairs; Wed, Jun 6). Just a reminder of all of the really big issues that the Rhode Island legislature is considering at the end of its session, and what your legislators will be spending their time on, instead of considering the details of the budget.

12. S3002: Governor Chafee's proposed changes to the motion-picture tax-credit law (S Finance; Tue, Jun 5).

11. H8225: Subjects the Bristol County Water Authority to the Access to Public Records Act (H Municipal Government; Wed, Jun 6).

10. H8049: Provides state funding for all day kindergarten in four school districts "to offset a portion of the reasonable one-time, start-up costs" (H Finance; Mon, Jun 4).

9. H8195: Removes the exemption of the real and personal property of Bryant University from all taxation (H Finance; Mon, Jun 4).

8. H7060: An extension of parts of campaign finance regulation to local financial town meetings and referendums (S Judiciary; Tue, Jun 6).

7. S2955: Moves Central Falls into the MERS pension system (S Finance; Tue, Jun 5). The Governor promised to do this as part of the Central Falls pension settlement; Justin has a report on the RI General Treasurer's reservations about this idea at the Ocean State Current.

6. H7916: Resolution opposing the detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (H Judiciary; Wed, Jun 6). My objections to the resolution, for anyone who is interested, are explained here.

5. S2280: Limits the powers of a state-appointed fiscal overseer, budget commission or receiver "to dealing with financial matters" and denies them the authority "to enact any ordinance, resolution or charter revision" or "to abolish any board or committee or reduce an elected body to an advisory capacity" (S Finance; Tue, Jun 5).

4. H8143: Allows "any elected Rhode Island state or municipal official" to designate "a structure, sculpture, inscription, or icon, or similar item" on public property and meeting certain other criteria as a "category one memorial item", and explicitly states that such a designation is not an attempt to establish a religion (H Judiciary; Wed, Jun 6). The courts will probably not take the category one designation into consideration in their rulings. However, the bill also makes it a state responsibility to pay the legal costs associated with lawsuits demanding the removal of a category one memorial item...

3. H7592/S2870: Authorization of the East Bay Energy Consortium as a subsidiary of the RI Economic Development Corporation, so that it can finance and manage a wind-farm project with government backed bonds (H Environment and Natural Resources; Tue, Jun 5 & S Environment and Agriculture; Wed, Jun 6).

2. H7909: Writes various "health insurance rules, standards, and policies" from Obamacare into state law (and that will remain, no matter how the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare); also, S2477/H7784 mandates that the State Health insurance commissioner create a workgroup "for the purpose of coordinating the development of processes, guidelines, and standards to streamline health care administration that are to be adopted by payors and providers of health care services operating in the state" (H Corporations; Tue, Jun 5).

1. H8213: Regulation of casino tables games (assuming the passage of a constitutional amendment allowing them) (H Finance; Fri, Jun 8).

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Will they ever really represent us? Will they ever really respect us enough to start freeing us?

Posted by: helen at June 6, 2012 4:19 PM
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