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5/21/2015 Senate OKs bill creating a Joint Committee of the Repealer
STATE HOUSE -- The Rhode Island Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Erin P. Lynch (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) to establish a new General Assembly Joint Committee of the Repealer, to be tasked with the job of combing through Rhode Island’s laws and proposing which outdated statutes should be repealed.

Over the years, said Senator Lynch, Rhode Island’s General Laws have become littered with statutes that are simply out-of-date or that may be hindering economic growth or business development. The new committee, she said, will help to ensure that economic growth is not being held back by archaic laws or regulations.

“The new Joint Committee will be a big step forward to ensuring that the state’s laws are adapted to the 21st century, and that no statute from the 1950s, or before or since, is hurting us economically today,” she said.

The Joint Committee of the Repealer would have the formal power to compile a list of statutes, regulations and executive orders that it recommends for repeal, based on suggestions received from citizens, agencies and the business community, such as “those that are not considered ‘business-friendly,’ and those that are archaic and out of date.”

The committee’s membership would consist of three appointed lawmakers each from the House of Representatives and the Senate (six total), with no more than two members from each House and Senate political party. The Committee would expire on December 31, 2020, unless further extended by the General Assembly.

The idea for the Joint Committee comes from a similar initiative undertaken in the State of Kansas in 2011, which established an Office of the Repealer to vet the state’s outdated or redundant laws and earmark those for repeal.

Senator Lynch hopes that with the passage of her bill in the Senate, Rhode Island will adapt the idea to its own economic needs and ensure that businesses are not restrained by unnecessary and out-of-date legislation.

“I think this committee is just what Rhode Island needs,” said Senator Lynch. “If we can clean up our outdated laws and ease the burden on our businesses, we’re definitely on the right track.”

The bill, 2015-S 0624, was cosponsored in the Senate by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston), Sen. Paul V. Jabour (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) and Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, Easy Providence, Pawtucket). A companion bill in the House of Representatives, 2015-H 5054, was introduced by Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) and is before the House Committee on Judiciary.

For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457