May 29, 2011

Nine Sets of Bills Scheduled to be Heard by the RI General Assembly, May 31 - June 2

Carroll Andrew Morse

Underneath the regular countdown of General Assembly bills coming up for committee hearings this week, I am going to post a second, unordered list of bills, also scheduled to be heard this week, whose practical impact is not immediately obvious but might involve some significant changes to the law. There seemed to be an unusually large number of this kind of bill on the committee calendars this week.

Input on anything listed, and indeed on anything expected to happen at the GA, is encouraged and appreciated.

9. S0595: Adds "urban collaboratives" to list of education-aid funding-formula recipients. (Senate Finance, May 31)

8. H5133: Repeals the prohibition against "classified" state employees from running for state office. (House Labor, June 2)

7. H5824: Bans foreclosures on the residences of deployed active duty armed-services personnel. (House Veterans Affairs, June 1)

6. H6177: Consolidates the "the powers, duties, functions, and personnel" of the Board of Governors for Higher Education and the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. (House Finance, June 2); I wonder how many state legislators might claim they are master "consolidators" based on a vote in favor of this bill, at the same time they would vote in favor of S0720, creating a new 21-member Family Engagement Advisory Council "to serve as an advisory body to the governor, the department of education, the board of regents, and to school districts". (Senate Education, June 1)

5. Two commissions related to RI elections: the census-based redistricting commission required to produce an immediate plan (H6096, House Finance, June 1, but why is the bill under the jurisdiction of the Finance committee?) and a study commission on a system for determining "the winner of [an] election by majority vote" including but not limited to "instant runoff voting, approval voting, range voting, and proportional voting". (H6176, House Judiciary, May 31).

4. H5225: Prohibits the state and any RI municipality from requiring an "employer to use an electronic employment verification a condition of receiving a government contract or applying for or maintaining a business license". (House Labor, June 2)

3. H6118: Creates a "care center" demonstration program under the auspices of the state's Medicaid Global Waiver, to provide "primary care benefits to uninsured adults without children whose income is equal to or less than one hundred thirty-three percent (133%) of the federal poverty level". (House Judiciary, June 1)

2. S0114: The Ruggerio Route-195 land-use bill. (Senate Housing and Municipal Government, May 31)

1. S0164: Joins Rhode Island to an interstate compact where the RI legislature agrees to disregard the choice for President made by Rhode Island voters, and allocate RI's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead. (Senate Judiciary, May 31)