State House view from the southThis week at the

General Assembly

 

STATE HOUSE — Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

§  House OKs Fogarty bill that would felonize third domestic violence charge
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7744) introduced by Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown) that would punish a perpetrator’s third domestic violence violation as a felony. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2024-S 2932) has been introduced by Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House OKs bill for mixed-use, multifamily housing in local zoning ordinances
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7981Aaa) introduced by Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) that aims to increase the housing supply by requiring municipalities to allow for duplexes, mixed-use development and multifamily housing in certain areas of each municipality. The bill is part of a 15-bill package of legislation regarding housing issues that Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi announced in March. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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§  Senate OKs bill that would make it illegal to charge seniors for paper invoices
The Senate passed legislation (2024-S 2278A) introduced by Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain that would make it illegal to charge fees to senior citizens for paper invoices. The violation of this provision would be a deceptive trade practice subject to a $500 fine. The measure now moves to the House, where Rep. Brandon T. Voas (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) has introduced similar legislation (2024-H 7940).
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§  Senate passes Felag bill to allow breweries to sell 1/6th kegs to public

The Senate approved legislation (2024-S 2695) sponsored by Sen. Walter S. Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) that would allow for the holder of a manufacturer’s license to sell one one-sixth barrel keg of malt beverage produced on the premises per day to consumers. The bill now heads to the House, where Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) introduced the legislation (2024-H 7842).

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§  House passes Marszalkowski bill that exempts court fees for crime victims

The House of Representatives passed legislation (2024-H 7800) sponsored by Rep. Alex D. Marszalkowski (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland) that would exempt crime victims seeking restitution from having to pay certain court fees. The bill would waive the payment of filing fees and service of process costs when the victim of a crime is still owed restitution at the expiration of a criminal case. The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield) has introduced the bill (2024-S 2115A).

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§  Senate OKs ballot measure for ‘equitable, adequate and meaningful’ education
The Senate passed legislation (2024-S 2147) sponsored by Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) to place a question on the next statewide ballot asking voters to amend the state constitution with a legally enforceable guarantee of “an equitable, adequate and meaningful education to each child.” The legislation now goes to the House, where Rep. Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket) is sponsoring companion legislation (2024-H 7396).
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§  House approves Cortvriend bill to preserve public rights of way
The House approved legislation (2024-H 7645A) sponsored by Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) to enable cities and towns to affordably preserve public access paths and trails through “qualified abandonment,” a designation that allows municipalities to abandon roads or paths they no longer wish to maintain, but with easements that maintain the public’s access rights. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) is sponsoring companion legislation (2024-S 2641).
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§  Senate approves Gallo bills for universal pre-K, limits on K-2 class size
The Senate approved two bills sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) to set Rhode Island on a path to offering universal free prekindergarten to 3- and 4-year-olds and expanding child care access for younger children (2024-S 2843), and setting a 20-student limit for kindergarten through Grade 2 classrooms in public schools (2024-S 2148). The bills now go to the House, where Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) is sponsoring the pre-K bill (2024-H 7497).
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§  Senate OKs DiMario Renewable Ready bill

The Senate passed a bill (2024-S 2293) sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) to ensure renewable energy projects, such as solar farms, are built without increasing electric rates or clearing Rhode Island’s forests. The bill now heads to the House, where Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) has introduced companion legislation (2024-H 7616). Click here to see news release.

 

§  House approves Ackerman consumer protection bill for solar industry

The House approved legislation (2024-H 7603A) sponsored by Deputy Majority Whip Mia A. Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) to protect consumers and ensure a healthy solar industry by regulating businesses selling home solar systems. The bill now moves to the Senate, which has already passed companion legislation (2024-S 2801Aaa) introduced by Sen. Jacob Bissaillon (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

Click here to see news release.

 

 

The Supreme Court is repealing a ban on "bump stocks." The court ruled Friday that the firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire more quickly can't be included in a 1934 law banning machine guns. The decision was 6-3 on ideological lines, striking down a regulation imposed during the Trump administration. Despite the ruling, bump stocks remain illegal in 18 states.       The worst of the severe weather hitting South Florida looks to be over. Governor Ron DeSantis says more rain is on the way, but he believes it will be closer to regular afternoon showers that residents usually experience this time of year. DeSantis had declared a state of emergency earlier in the week as the rains flooded streets and stranded drivers. Damage assessments are still underway. Officials add the good news is no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.       Stocks are closing with the Nasdaq hitting a record high to finish off the week. A decline in consumer sentiment weighed on markets with the University of Michigan's early reading for June coming in below estimates. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 57 points to 38-589. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 54-31. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 17-688.       The scene of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school mass shooting is torn down. The demolition of the classroom building where 17 people were killed in the 2018 Florida shooting started this morning. The victims' families were invited to watch the first blows and hammer off a piece themselves if they choose. The building had been preserved to serve as evidence at the shooter's 2022 penalty trial. He is spending life behind bars.       One person is facing charges and two others are at large after allegedly burning American and Israeli flags in New York City. Police arrested Jahki Lodgson-McCray and charged him with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, failure to use a sidewalk and menacing. On Wednesday Lodgson-McGray and two others allegedly set fire to the flags outside the Consulate General of Israel in an act of pro-Palestinian protest.       The U.S. Coast Guard says its investigation into the Titan submersible implosion is taking longer than expected. The submersible imploded and killed all five people aboard as it made its way down to the wreckage site of the Titanic last June. The Coast Guard had said it would release a report on the investigation within a year. The Coast Guard pinned the delay on "the need to contract two salvage missions to secure vital evidence and the extensive forensic testing required."