STATE HOUSE – The Senate and the House are returning to session next week.
The Senate has scheduled session Monday, July 13, at 4 p.m., when it will consider the appointments of David Spinella as chief hearing officer in the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Administrative Adjudication, Louis DeSimone to the Board of Elections and Rebeka Mazzone to the Industrial Recreational Building Authority. It will also consider several bills, including:
· 2020-S 2824A — Sponsored by Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence), this bill would create a new process with standards for deciding whether an applicant’s past conviction of a crime should disqualify the applicant from receiving a state occupational license, permit, certificate or registration.
· 2020-S 2547 and 2020-S 2504 — Both sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) and both concerning Block Island, the first bill would allow for safe airport runway length and continued maintenance, and the second would amend the maximum peak load of allowable capacity for the net metering systems in the Block Island Utility District.
· 2020-H 7103Baa, 2020-S 2154Aaa — Sponsored by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), this legislation would provide that applications to purchase certain firearms be sent by the seller of the firearm to the Rhode Island State Police and the police department of the city or town in which the purchaser resides.
Both the House and the Senate plan to hold session Thursday, July 16. The Senate start time will be determined. The House plans to meet at 3 p.m. Its calendar will be posted in advance, and is expected to include, among other bills:
- 2020-H 8077, 2020-S 2902aa — Sponsored by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) and Senator Metts, this bill would put a question on November’s ballot asking voters whether to remove “and Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name.
- 2020-H 7541A/2020-S 2136B — Sponsored by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) and Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston), this legislation updates the state’s laws establishing parentage so they include all types of parents, including LGBTQ parents.
- 2020-H 7947 — Sponsored by Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), this bill would create a new process with standards for deciding whether an applicant’s past conviction of a crime should disqualify the applicant from receiving a state occupational license, permit, certificate or registration.
- 2020-H 7103Baa, 2020-S 2154Aaa – The legislation concerning local police review of firearms purchases, following expected Senate passage Monday.
Several committee hearings have been scheduled next week:
Monday, July 13
· The Senate Education Committee meets at 3 p.m. in Room 313 to consider legislation (2020-H 7069B) sponsored by House Health, Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) to allow school committees to budget funding for field trips. The Senate has approved companion legislation (2020-S 2327A) sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).
· The Senate Health and Human Services Committee meets at 3 p.m. in Room 313 to consider two bills, both sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence). The first (2020-S 2317A) would prohibit cost-sharing for insured persons 45 or older for covered colorectal screening examinations, laboratory tests and colonoscopies. The other (2020-S 2519) would mandate minimum staffing levels and standards for quality care in nursing homes.
Tuesday, July 14
· The Senate Finance Committee meets at 4 p.m. in the Senate Lounge for hearings on several bills, including two sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence). The first (2020-S 2337) would enable the Lottery Division to enter into a contract extension with IGT Global Solutions Corporation and contract extensions with Twin River and affiliates of Twin River. The second (2020-S 2919) would make it easier to sign up for online sports wagering and allow a system that verifies a player’s location at the time that they wager.
· The House Finance Committee meets at 5 p.m. in Room 35 for hearings on the companion bills to President Ruggerio’s above (2020-H 7523A, 2020-H 8097, respectively), sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston).
· The House Municipal Government Committee meets at 4 p.m. in the House Lounge for consideration of several bills concerning individual municipalities.
· The House Judiciary Committee meets at 5 p.m. for consideration of a bill (2020-H 8102) sponsored by Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) to permit emergency mail ballot applications to be processed at the voter’s board of canvassers in person on electronic poll pads, allowing the voter to then cast his or her ballot and place the ballot in the state-approved voting machine.
Wednesday, July 15
The State House remains closed to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions and hearings will be televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers. They are also live-streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV.