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



§  Assembly cancels session next week in light of COVID-19 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has canceled legislative session and committee hearings next week.
Click here to see news release.

§  Minimum wage increase signed into law
Legislation (2020-S 2147A2020-H 7157A) sponsored by Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) and Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) to raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 to $11.50 an hour on Oct. 1 was signed into law by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo.
Click here to see news release.

§  Assembly OKs Rep. Abney, Sen. DiPalma motion picture tax credit bill

The General Assembly has approved legislation (2020-H 7247A, 2020-S 2326A) introduced by Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) that amends the state’s motion picture tax credit program by allowing productions to utilize tax credits, even if the majority of production is not done within the state, as long as the production spends a minimum of $10 million within Rhode Island during a 12-month span.

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§  Newly elected Rep. Joshua Giraldo takes oath of office
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea administered the oath of office to the newest member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls). He was chosen by the voters of District 56 in a special election March 3 to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of former representative Shelby Maldonado. He was assigned to serve on the Health, Education and Welfare, Small Business, and Special Legislation committees.
Click here to see news release.


§  Bill aims to protect Rhode Islanders from prosecution over shoreline access
Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) and House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) have proposed legislation (2020-H 7755) to prevent the criminal prosecution of anyone who attempts to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed shoreline rights on a sandy or rocky shore within 10 feet of the most recent high tide line. Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) is sponsoring the bill (2020-S 2756) in the Senate.
Click here to see new release.

§  Bill would let municipalities classify short-term rentals as commercial property
Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7850) to enable municipalities to classify dwellings that are rented for more than 30 non-consecutive days in a year as commercial properties.
Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. Sheehan bills would limit sexual harassment non-disclosure agreements
Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, North Kingstown, Narragansett) has introduced two bills that would limit non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual harassment.
The first bill (2020-S 2558) would place limits on the terms that can be included in an agreement that settles a claim of sexual harassment, retaliation for reporting sexual harassment and stalking. The second bill (2020-S 2563) would define “nondisclosure agreement” and identify mandatory and permissible nondisclosure agreement language.
Click here to see news release.


§  Rep. Morin bill alters amount of alcohol that brewers, distillers can sell at retail
Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) has introduced legislation that would increase the amount of alcohol that the state’s microbreweries can sell at retail. The bill (2020-H 8005) would modify limitations on quantities of malt beverages and distilled spirits that can be sold at retail by certain licensed breweries and distilleries for off-premises consumption.
Click here to see news release.


  • House OKs Amore bill that alters medication prescribing guidelines

The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2020-H 7398) introduced by Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) that would exclude chronic intractable pain from the definition of “acute pain management” for the purposes of prescribing opioid medication.  The bill calls for new guidelines for the treatment of chronic intractable pain. Similar legislation (2020-S 2386) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston).

Click here to see news release.


  • House, Senate Finance committees hold hearings on IGT/Twin River legislation

The House and Senate Finance committees heard testimony on legislation (2020-H 7523, 2020-S 2327) that enables the State Lottery Division of the Department of Revenue to enter into a contract extension with IGT Global Solutions Corporation and contract extensions with Twin River and affiliates of Twin River. Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) are the sponsors of the legislation.



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