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May 24, 2019




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



§  House approves bill to require pension fund updates
The House approved legislation (2019-H 5287Aaa) sponsored by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) to require pension plans managed by religious organizations in Rhode Island to send regular updates on the financial health of the pensions to their plan participants. The bill is a response to the St. Joseph pension plan insolvency. The bill now goes to the Senate, which voted May 7 to approve companion legislation (2019-S 0431Aaa) sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

§  House passes Rep. Corvese bill to create animal abuse registry
The House approved legislation (2019-H 5113) sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) to create a statewide animal abuser registry aimed at preventing those with a history of mistreating animals from obtaining other animals.

Click here to see news release.


§  House OKs bill to put link to on Health website
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2019-H 5540A) sponsored by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would require the state Department of Health to post and maintain on its website a link to, a free, web-based resource that provides patients, their family members, health care professionals, researchers and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies on a wide range of diseases and conditions.
Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. DiPalma bill that changes RI’s license plates passes Senate

Sen. Louis P. DiPalma’s legislation (2019-S 0715) that changes the way in which new, fully reflective registration plates would be issued, starting Dec.1, 2019, passed the Senate this week. The legislation would replace the wave-design license plates upon the renewal of the registration so that, over the course of a two year period, all wave plates would be phased out.

Click here to see news release.


§  House OKs McNamara bill extending airport air quality monitoring program
The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2019-H 5672A) introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would extend the required air quality monitoring program at T.F. Green Airport for two years to July 31, 2021. The act would be dependent upon the airport corporation undertaking certain specific actions regarding the collection and reporting of air quality data. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2019-S 90906) has been introduced by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick).
Click here to see news release.


§  Rep. Bennett introduces bill to ban polystyrene food containers, plastic stirrers
House Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chairman David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2019-H 6126) to ban Rhode Island food service establishments from using disposable polystyrene foam containers and plastic stirrers.
Click here to see news release.

§  Legislators honored by Humane Society for animal rights advocacy

The Humane Society of the United States honored four legislators this week during their annual Humane Lobby Day at the State House. Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston), Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence), Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston), and Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, Johnston, North Providence) were each honored with the Humane State Legislator Award due to their ground-breaking advances and advocacy for animal welfare in Rhode Island.

Click here to see news release.


§  Senate confirms Womazetta Jones as the new head of EOHHS

The Senate confirmed Gov. Gina Raimondo’s appointment of Womazetta Jones to the position of Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  Secretary Jones, a native of Illinois, came to Rhode Island after directing social services in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The appointment required the advice and consent of the Senate.






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