General Assembly passes Sen. Lawson and Rep. Amore’s bill that adds East Providence to Blackstone Valley tourism district


STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly tonight passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Valarie J. Lawson and Rep. Gregg Amore that adds East Providence to the Blackstone Valley tourism district.

“For too long, East Providence has not been included in our state’s regional tourism districts, causing the city to forego the benefits and support of these tourism bodies.  With this legislation, this problem will be rectified and East Providence and its residents will be able to finally join the history and beauty of the Blackstone Valley tourism district, while most importantly allowing the city to use collected tourism dollars that we currently are unable to tap without a regional tourism district association,” said Senator Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence).

“This bill is a long time coming for the residents of East Providence as they deserve to have and utilize the tourism supports that so many other communities have access to in our state.  This legislation will also be crucial to the overdue development of East Providence’s waterfront, allowing the city to maximize its tourism dollars while promoting all that East Providence has to offer to visitors such as the Crescent Park Looff Carousel and the Bold Point Park concert venue,” said Representative Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence).

The legislation (2021-S 0881 / 2021-H 5361) includes East Providence in the Northern Rhode Island regional tourism district.  Once East Providence notifies the Rhode Island Division of Taxation and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council that the city has elected to become a member of the regional tourism district, all funds previously generated in East Providence and held in escrow by the Rhode Island Division of Taxation shall be allocated to the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council to support tourism activities in East Providence.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.