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Budget bill includes new pilot program to house, help chronically homeless
Public-private ‘Pay for Success’ program expected to be more effective, save millions
STATE HOUSE – Under the state budget bill (2021-H 6122A) that will come before the House today, Rhode Island will launch a five-year pilot program to create permanent supportive housing for 125 chronically homeless Rhode Islanders.  

Speaker Shekarchi announces amended version of Rep. Donovan’s pay equity bill to be considered by House Labor Committee
Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi has announced that an amended version of pay equity legislation has been posted for a vote in the House Labor Committee this Friday.

The legislation, H 5261 Sub A, sponsored by Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), comprehensively addresses wage discrimination based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, and country of origin. It expands employee protections and the scope of the remedies available to employees who have experienced such discrimination.
House approves statewide police body cameras bill
The House of Representatives today approved Rep. José F. Batista’s bill establishing a statewide program for police body cameras.

Assembly OKs bill allowing restaurants to continue selling drinks with take-out
With a vote in the House today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo and Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski to allow any Class B liquor license holders and brewpubs to sell certain amounts of beer, wine and mixed drinks with take-out food order through March 1, 2022. The bill now heads to the governor’s office.

Assembly approves elder financial exploitation bill
With final votes in both chambers today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne and Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. to require financial institutions to report suspected financial exploitation of seniors to the Office of Healthy Aging, and authorizing them to temporarily hold transactions they suspect as such. The legislation will now be sent to the governor.

House OKs bill to level playing field for charter school, mayoral academy lotteries
The House of Representatives has approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Edith H. Ajello aimed at leveling the playing field in lotteries for charter school and mayoral academy admissions.   
In historic vote, Senate passes legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis in Rhode Island
Proposal aims to create a competitive, inclusive, and equitable regulatory structure
The Senate has approved legislation to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis. It is the first time legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use has reached the floor of either legislative chamber in Rhode Island, marking a major milestone in the decade-plus efforts of the sponsor, Senator Joshua Miller.
Assembly approves removal of spousal exemption from rape law
With final votes in both chambers today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert E. Craven and Sen. Dawn Euer to allow criminal charges to be brought when a person is raped by their spouse while the victim is incapacitated.

Sen. Murray, Rep. Handy proposal to raise RI Works assistance incorporated in state budget bill
Bill provides first raise in state’s cash assistance program in 30 years
STATE HOUSE – The 2022 state budget bill approved by the House Finance Committee last week was amended to include elements of legislation sponsored by Rep. Arthur Handy and Sen. Melissa A. Murray to provide long-overdue benefits increases to enrollees in Rhode Island Works, the state’s cash assistance and work-readiness program for low-income children and their families.
House passes Rep. Tobon’s bill which would require all public high school students to demonstrate proficiency in computer science
The House of Representatives tonight passed Rep. Carlos E. Tobon’s (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket) legislation which would require all public high school students, beginning with the graduating class of 2023, to demonstrate proficiency in computer science.

Senate passes Acosta’s bill that bans discrimination against organ recipients based on disability
The Senate tonight passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) that would prohibit discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient based solely on a physical or mental disability.

Senate passes Coyne bill to compensate wrongfully convicted
The Senate has passed legislation to grant wrongfully convicted prisoners the opportunity to seek compensation and damages. The legislation, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Cynthia A. Coyne, would allow individuals who were incarcerated for more than a year to seek redress through Superior Court.
MEDIA ADVISORY: House of Representatives to consider FY 2022 budget on Thursday; budget briefing open to the media on Tuesday
The House of Representatives will consider the FY 2022 state budget (2021-H 6122A) on Thursday, June 24 at 2 p.m. at the State House.

House passes Ruggiero bill to increase use of cleaner-burning biodiesel in home heating oil
The House today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero to phase in significantly higher percentages of cleaner-burning biodiesel in home heating oil sold in the state.

House Finance Committee approves 2022 state budget bill
The House Finance Committee has approved a $13.1 billion state budget for the 2022 fiscal year that boosts key supports for vulnerable Rhode Islanders — particularly affordable housing — makes body cameras available for every uniformed police officer statewide and does not rely on the $1.1 billion in one-time federal American Rescue Plan funding for ongoing expenses.
Rhode Island leaders announce a first-of-its-kind statewide program to put body-worn cameras on every uniformed police officer
Senate President Ruggerio and House Speaker Shekarchi, together with Rep. José F. Batista, Sen. Jonathon Acosta, Governor McKee, Attorney General Neronha, the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and the NAACP, announce legislation and funding plan for a statewide body-worn camera program

State leaders and law enforcement leaders came together Wednesday to announce an innovative statewide program to put body-worn cameras on every frontline police officer and supervisor in Rhode Island.

House approves bill to boost electronic medical records use
The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Susan R. Donovan to better protect patients’ health by making the electronic sharing of health records more effective.