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

 

 

§  General Assembly enacts 2025 state budget bill
The General Assembly approved the 2025 state budget bill (2024-H 7225Aaa). The $13.947 billion budget directs additional funding toward education and children, raises Medicaid reimbursement rates and includes a $120 million affordable housing bond. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

§  Bill requiring safe storage of firearms is signed into law
Gov. Dan McKee signed legislation (2024-S 2202aa, 2024-H 7373A) sponsored by Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and Sen. Pamela J. Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) to require safe storage of firearms in Rhode Island.
Click here to see news release.

  • LEOBOR reform legislation becomes law with governor’s signature

Gov. Dan McKee signed the Law Enforcement Officers’ Due Process, Accountability and Transparency Act (2024-H 7263Aaa, 2024-S 2096Aaa) which will bring significant and long-overdue reforms to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR). The law was introduced by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Deputy House Speaker Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence). 

Click here to see news release.

 

§  General Assembly approves ADU legislation, other bills to ease housing crisis
Legislators approved and sent to the governor several bills included in the legislative package put forth by Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) to address the state’s housing crisis, including the bill to make it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as in-law apartments and granny flats, on their property. The ADU legislation (2024-H 7062A2024-S 2998A) is sponsored by House Commission on Housing Affordability Chairwoman June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) and Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown). The bills are headed to the governor.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  HEALTH Initiative bills headed to governor’s desk
Several bills that were included in the Senate leadership’s HEALTH (Holistic Enhancement and Access Legislation for Total Health) initiative cleared the General Assembly, including bills to join five interstate licensing compacts to make it easier for Rhode Islanders to access the care they need. Two bills sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) aimed at addressing the primary care provider shortage by encouraging new providers to choose a career in primary care in Rhode Island were included in the 2025 state budget.
Click here to see news release.

§  Lawmakers OK bill for automatic disaffiliation of independent primary voters
The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-H 76622024-S 2894) introduced by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry) and Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich) making party disaffiliation automatic for registered independent voters who vote in primaries. Current law affiliates independents who vote in a party primary with that party unless they fill out a disaffiliation form after casting their vote. The bill goes to the governor.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  General Assembly approves Edwards, Euer Healthcare Provider Shield Act
The General Assembly approved the Healthcare Provider Shield Act (2024-S 2262A2024-H 7577) introduced by Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton) and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) to protect medical providers who provide transgender and reproductive health care services in Rhode Island from civil or criminal suits from other states or their residents. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

 

  • Assembly OKs Renewable Ready bill
    The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-S 2293A2024-H 7616A) from Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) to create the Rhode Island Renewable Ready program to aid the construction of renewable energy projects, such as solar farms, on former industrial sites. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • Assembly passes bill to expand parental, caregiving leave
    The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-S 2121Aaa2024-H 7171Aaa) sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) and Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) to expand Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance program from six weeks to eight, allowing new parents more time for parental leave and caregivers more time to care for a critically ill family member. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.

Click here to see news release.

 

  • General Assembly OKs bill to extend lookback period for repeat DUI offenses
    The General Assembly passed legislation (2024-S 2937aa2024-H 7631aa) introduced by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown) and Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) that would extend the lookback period for repeat offenses of driving under the influence from five to 10 years. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
    Click here to see news release.

 

A New Mexico judge has dismissed manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin in his "Rust" trial. Baldwin was rehearsing with a prop gun on the movie set when it went off, firing a live round and killing cinematographer Hutchins in 2021. On Friday, the judge agreed with the defense that the prosecution withheld evidence about on-set ammunition, and ruled the case cannot be re-tried.       President Biden is trying to reassure voters he's up for the job. Speaking to supporters in Detroit, he addressed the issue of his age, saying "I promise you, I'm OK." This comes as he faces more calls from Democrats to drop his re-election bid over concerns about his mental fitness.        A historic heat wave is still scorching the West. Millions from California to Colorado are expected to deal with triple digit temperatures into the weekend. Las Vegas hit six days in row of temperatures at or above 115 degrees yesterday. Today, Vegas will see 115 again, while Phoenix could hit 116 and Sacramento could see 111.        AT&T believes a hacker has stolen records of calls and texts from almost all of its wireless customers. The company announced this morning that the stolen data doesn't include the content of calls or texts, or personal info like Social Security numbers or birth dates. It does include which numbers a customer interacted with, and data like how long a call lasted. AT&T said it's working with law enforcement and at least one person has been apprehended.        A judge is dismissing Rudy Giuliani's bankruptcy case. The judge in the case says the ex-New York City mayor was evasive with his assets. The move now allows creditors, including two defamed Georgia election workers, to collect what they're owed from the former mayor.       It's on to the finals at Wimbledon. In men's semfinal action today, three seed Carlos Alcaraz defeated five seed Danill Medvedev in four sets to advance to the final. Meanwhile four time champion Novak Djokovic [[ jow-kuh-vuhch ]] beat 25 seed Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets to also advance. Alcaraz will take on Djokovic in the final on Sunday. Tomorrow, seven seed Jasmine Paolini will take on Barbora Krejcikova [[ krech-ee-kova ]] in the women's final.