January 28, 2013
Coming up in Committee: Six Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, January 29 - January 31
6. H5114: A preliminary sign that the Rhode Island General Assembly may once again be taking a keen and perhaps unusual amount of interest in the rental of motor vehicles; this bill would require anyone "who rents or leases more than five motor vehicles in any one year" in the state of Rhode Island to have those vehicles "registered, insured and inspected in the state of Rhode Island" (H Corporations; Tue, Jan 29).
5. S0021: Authorizes the state Auditor General and the Division of Municipal Finance to create a "uniform system of accounting" for Rhode Island municipalities, and allows to state to withhold state aid payments from any municipality which refuses to install and maintain said system (S Finance; Tue, Jan 29).
4. H5129: Limits damages in lawsuits involving the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to a maximum of $100,000 unless the General Assembly authorizes a higher limit "in particular cases" (H Corporations; Tue, Jan 29).
3. S0023: 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 (S Finance; Tue, Jan 29).
2. S0022: Changes the estate tax floor in Rhode Island from $675,000, at which point the entire amount of the estate is currently taxed, to $2,000,000, at which point only the amount in excess of $2,000,000 would be taxed (S Finance; Tue, Jan 29).
1. S0019: Allows the state or any public corporation to "refund" any non-voter approved "bond", "financing lease", "guarantee agreement", or "other obligation", provided that "the governor certifies...that the refunding shall provide a net benefit to the issuer" (S Finance; Tue, Jan 29). Could this be a strategy for dealing with the 38 Studios "guarantee agreement"? If so, it kicks the ball back to the Governor, requiring him to provide a certification for a specific situation under a law that applies to any bond that did not go through a voter referendum. Another immediate question raised by this bill is whether a "refund" for a state debt obligation can be provided in piecemeal fashion or whether it would have to be provided all at once. This bill's lead sponsor is Senate Finance Chairman Daniel DaPonte, suggesting that this bill is a priority of Senate leadership.