March 9, 2018



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



§  House passes Edwards bill allowing self-sealing tires in cars
The House of Representatives has passed legislation (2018-H 7123A) introduced by Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) that would update the law to allow for self-sealing tire technology in automobiles. The measure now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2174A) has been introduced by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).
Click here to see news release.


§  House, Senate judiciary committees hear several bills related to firearms
The House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on several pieces of legislation relating to firearms, including “red flag” legislation, restrictions on assault weapons, bump stocks and concealed carry permits.


§  Rep. Solomon bill would require buried power lines after long-term outages
Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) has submitted legislation (2018-H 7774) that would require an electric utility to bury power lines in the event of a residential power outage lasting 96 consecutive hours or more, unless the outage was caused by the resident.
Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. Seveney bill includes counseling as primary visit in insurance plans
Sen.  James A. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2018-S 2540) that would require behavioral health counseling visits and medication maintenance visits to be included as primary care visits for patient cost-sharing requirements under the provisions of a health plan. Similar legislation (2018-H 7806) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence).
Click here to see news release.


§  Rep. Vella Wilkinson bill tightens parental consent for minors’ abortions
Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7735) that would make it a felony for any person to encourage, aid or contribute to the transportation of a child under the age of 18 across a state line with the intent that the child obtain an abortion without parental consent.
Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. DiPalma, Rep. Abney want commission on biennial budgeting

Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) has introduced a resolution (2018-S 2253) that would create a special legislative commission to study the possibility of transitioning Rhode Island to a biennial budget. House Finance Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) has introduced the companion legislation (2018-H 7801) in the House of Representatives. Biennial budgeting is the preparation and adoption of budgets for two-year periods.

Click here to see news release.


§  Rep. Giarrusso calls for an end to traffic cameras

Rep. Anthony Giarrusso (R-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7760) to end the use of traffic cameras in Rhode Island. The bill would repeal the Automated Traffic Violation Monitoring Act of 2005 in its entirety, eliminating all traffic camera systems including red light and speed cameras. If passed, Rhode Island would join 10 other states prohibiting communities from using red light or speed cameras.

Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. DiPalma, Rep. Marshall bill would strengthen Hospital Conversion Act

Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) and Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) will introduce legislation to strengthen Rhode Island’s Hospital Conversion Act (HCA), the law governing hospital mergers and acquisitions in Rhode Island. Both lawmakers have expressed concern over the proposed acquisition of Care New England by Partners HealthCare and that the current HCA is not strong enough to support a proper review of entities proposing acquisitions from adjacent states.

Click here to see news release.


§  Sen. Nesselbush, Rep. Tanzi host reception for International Women’s Day

Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) hosted a celebration of the United Nations-recognized International Women’s Day in the State Room of the State House. This year, the General Assembly honored Chief Tina Goncalves of the Pawtucket Police Department. Chief Goncalves is the first female municipal police chief in Rhode Island.  The theme for this year’s annual event was “Press for Progress.”

Click here to see news release.






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