This 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

 

§  Senate passes bill that grants driving privileges to undocumented residents

The Senate passed legislation (2022-S 2006Aaa) sponsored by Sen. Frank A. Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence) which allows the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driving privileges to undocumented residents in the state.  Neither the driving permit nor license would be usable for federal or state identification or voting purposes.  The bill now heads to the House for consideration where Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) has introduced similar legislation (2022-H 7708).

Click here to see news release

 

§  House OKs bill to provide injured police dogs ambulance transport, EMT care
The House approved legislation (2022-H 7021A) sponsored by Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) to allow police dogs injured in the line of duty to get emergency first aid from EMTs and be transported by ambulance to veterinary hospitals. The legislation now heads to the Senate.
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs McNamara bill to redistribute unused prescription medications
The House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-H 7133A) introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would create a way to redistribute unused medication to aid people who cannot access or afford their prescriptions. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2207) has been introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House, Senate pass bills to address child abuse in military families
The Senate and House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-S 2105, 2022-H 6617) introduced by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) and Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) respectively that would require the Department of Children, Youth and Families to determine the military status of the parents of any abused child and report the matter to the appropriate military authorities, including the Military Family Advocacy Program. Each measure now moves to the other chamber.
Click here to see DiMario release.

Click here to see Casimiro release.

 

§  House passes Azzinaro ‘stolen valor’ bill

The House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-H 7714A) sponsored by Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) that would make “stolen valor” a crime.  The bill would make it a crime to fraudulently represent oneself as an active or veteran member of the military or armed forces for the purpose of obtaining money, property or other tangible benefits. The crime would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than a year, or a fine of $1000, or both.  The bill now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) has introduced similar legislation (2022-S 2425).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate approves measure to control bird flu
The Senate legislation sponsored by Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) to control potential outbreaks of bird flu and other animal diseases. The bill (2022-S 2751) provides the Department of Environmental Management authority to set up a quarantine area to prevent the movement of domestic animals or products when there is a suspected case of a contagious animal disease such as bird flu. The legislation now goes to the House, which has passed identical legislation (2022-H 7785) sponsored by Rep. Brandon Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston).
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs bill to protect donors of feminine hygiene products from liability
The House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) to provide legal protection to those who donate feminine hygiene products. The protection would open the door for large corporate donations of the much-needed products to food banks and other charities. The bill now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2531) is sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown).
Click here to see news release.

§  House passes bill naming trilobite RI’s state fossil
The House approved a measure (2022-H 7908) sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) to designate the trilobite as Rhode Island’s state fossil. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Alana DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) is sponsoring its Senate companion (2022-S 2497). The legislation is the brainchild of Narragansett High School student Gary Jennison, who wants to address Rhode Island’s status as one of only four states without an official state fossil.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Morales, Sen. Bell call for passage of ‘Medicare for All’
Joined by advocates, Rep. David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and Sen. Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) called for passage of their legislation (2022-H 81192022-S 2769) to establish a statewide universal, comprehensive, affordable single-payer health care insurance program.
Click here to see news release.

 

The U.S. defense secretary says Russia's invasion of Ukraine has spurred countries around the world to take action. Lloyd Austin noted the U.S. is not alone in providing Ukraine with security and humanitarian aid. He stressed the U.S. will keep doing everything possible to help Ukraine, but said "how it ends" is up to the people of Ukraine.        The White House appears to be downplaying President Biden's comments about the U.S. defending Taiwan should China invade -- again. Biden said he would honor a commitment to defend Taiwan, prompting The White House to quickly put out a statement, saying Biden's comments "don't reflect a change in U.S. policy." It's the third time in recent months the White House has issued a statement following remarks by the President about Taiwan.       At least 100-thousand migrants are allegedly waiting to cross the Rio Grande River into the U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott claims he saw the migrants today during a tour of the southern border. Abbott says he was told by National Border Patrol Council leadership that most of the migrants are involved in the Cartels because they aren't using ports of entry to come into the U.S.        Yankees' Josh Donaldson is being suspended for what the MLB calls a "disrespectful" remark towards White Sox' Tim Anderson. Donaldson called the Chicago player "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson, who was the league's first Black player in 1947. Donaldson plans to appeal the suspension.        The mayor of Anaheim, California is abruptly quitting in the middle of an FBI investigation. Mayor Harry Sidhu [[ sah-DOH ]] resigned today. Last week, it became public that federal officials were looking into how Sidhu helped broker a deal to sell the Anaheim Angels' baseball stadium from the city to the team.        A "potentially hazardous" asteroid is racing past Earth this week. It measures just over a mile long, making it the largest asteroid to get relatively close to our planet this year. Although it is massive, there is no need to worry, as it will be two-and-a-half million miles away when it passes Earth on May 27th.