For more information on any of these reports, visit http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/News/
Senate Judiciary Committee schedules vote on same-sex marriage bills
The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, April 23, on three pieces of legislation related to same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The three pieces of legislation the committee is scheduled to consider are:
• (2013-S0038) , sponsored by Senator Donna M. Nesselbush (D – Dist. 15, Pawtucket), to permit same sex marriage in the state and deem those who had entered into civil unions as married;
• (2013-S0708), sponsored by Senator Frank A. Ciccone, III (D – Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence), proposing a constitutional change to permit same sex marriage if the constitutional amendment is ratified by the voters; and
• (2013-H5015A), sponsored by Representative Arthur Handy (D – Dist. 18, Cranston), the House version of Senator Nesselbush’s bill.
The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a lengthy public hearing on both Senate bills on March 21.
The Committee will meet at 3 p.m. in Room 313 of the State House. No public testimony will be taken.
House passes bill requiring mortgage conciliation effort before foreclosure
The House passed legislation (2013-H 5335Aaa) sponsored by Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) to require banks and lenders to make a good-faith attempt to negotiate with homeowners before foreclosing on homes in Rhode Island. Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) is sponsoring similar legislation ( 2013-S 416) in the Senate.
Fogarty files bill to allow liquor sales at 10 am on Sundays
Sen. Paul W. Fogarty (D-Dist. 23, Glocester, Burrillville, North Smithfield), whose district borders both Connecticut and Massachusetts, has introduced legislation ( 2013-S 799) to allow Rhode Island liquor stores to open two hours earlier on Sundays, at 10 a.m. The bill is aimed at preventing stores near the state border from losing business to stores in Connecticut, which last year allowed its stores to begin selling liquor on Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) is sponsoring the bill ( 2013-H 5183) in the House.
Ferri introduces Health Improvement Planning Act
Rep. Frank Ferri (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) has introduced legislation to expand the state’s effort to improve the value and quality of health in Rhode Island through a collaborative statewide planning process for population health and medical care resources and delivery. The Rhode Island Health Improvement Planning Act of 2013 ( 2013-H 5750) would establish the Rhode Island Health Planning Authority, a body that would have more public control, independence, increased effectiveness and – backers hope – adequate staffing and more funding than past efforts.
Tanzi bill would allow ‘benefit corporations’ in R.I.
Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) has introduced legislation that would give legal protection to Rhode Island for-profit corporations that have social and environmental missions. The legislation ( 2013-H 5720) would create a voluntary option for businesses that have a mission other than profit to allow them to pursue that mission appropriately without risk of lawsuits from shareholders.
Senate OKs resolution to place Rhode Island on Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council
The Senate has passed a resolution urging Congress to allow Rhode Island representation on the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council. The bill ( 2013-S 0729), sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), aims to assist Rhode Island in eliminating some of the many challenges facing its fishing community.