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 http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

§  Senate passes bill that grants driving privileges to undocumented residents

The Senate passed legislation (2022-S 2006Aaa) sponsored by Sen. Frank A. Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence) which allows the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driving privileges to undocumented residents in the state.  Neither the driving permit nor license would be usable for federal or state identification or voting purposes.  The bill now heads to the House for consideration where Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) has introduced similar legislation (2022-H 7708).

Click here to see news release

 

§  House OKs bill to provide injured police dogs ambulance transport, EMT care
The House approved legislation (2022-H 7021A) sponsored by Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) to allow police dogs injured in the line of duty to get emergency first aid from EMTs and be transported by ambulance to veterinary hospitals. The legislation now heads to the Senate.
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs McNamara bill to redistribute unused prescription medications
The House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-H 7133A) introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would create a way to redistribute unused medication to aid people who cannot access or afford their prescriptions. The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2207) has been introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence).
Click here to see news release.

 

§  House, Senate pass bills to address child abuse in military families
The Senate and House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-S 2105, 2022-H 6617) introduced by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) and Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) respectively that would require the Department of Children, Youth and Families to determine the military status of the parents of any abused child and report the matter to the appropriate military authorities, including the Military Family Advocacy Program. Each measure now moves to the other chamber.
Click here to see DiMario release.

Click here to see Casimiro release.

 

§  House passes Azzinaro ‘stolen valor’ bill

The House of Representatives approved legislation (2022-H 7714A) sponsored by Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) that would make “stolen valor” a crime.  The bill would make it a crime to fraudulently represent oneself as an active or veteran member of the military or armed forces for the purpose of obtaining money, property or other tangible benefits. The crime would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than a year, or a fine of $1000, or both.  The bill now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) has introduced similar legislation (2022-S 2425).

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate approves measure to control bird flu
The Senate legislation sponsored by Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) to control potential outbreaks of bird flu and other animal diseases. The bill (2022-S 2751) provides the Department of Environmental Management authority to set up a quarantine area to prevent the movement of domestic animals or products when there is a suspected case of a contagious animal disease such as bird flu. The legislation now goes to the House, which has passed identical legislation (2022-H 7785) sponsored by Rep. Brandon Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston).
Click here to see news release.

§  House OKs bill to protect donors of feminine hygiene products from liability
The House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) to provide legal protection to those who donate feminine hygiene products. The protection would open the door for large corporate donations of the much-needed products to food banks and other charities. The bill now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2531) is sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown).
Click here to see news release.

§  House passes bill naming trilobite RI’s state fossil
The House approved a measure (2022-H 7908) sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) to designate the trilobite as Rhode Island’s state fossil. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Alana DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) is sponsoring its Senate companion (2022-S 2497). The legislation is the brainchild of Narragansett High School student Gary Jennison, who wants to address Rhode Island’s status as one of only four states without an official state fossil.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Morales, Sen. Bell call for passage of ‘Medicare for All’
Joined by advocates, Rep. David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and Sen. Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence) called for passage of their legislation (2022-H 81192022-S 2769) to establish a statewide universal, comprehensive, affordable single-payer health care insurance program.
Click here to see news release.

 

Tensions are running high after an explosive meeting in the Texas town of Uvalde [[ yoo-VAHL-dee ]] where 19 students and two teachers were murdered in a massacre. Relatives of the victims lashed out at the city leaders, demanding accountability. Velma Duran lost her sister Irma, who was a teacher at Robb Elementary. She says victims' families have been stonewalled by the Uvalde District Attorney who's refusing to release information about the investigation.       Gas prices are down from their recent all-time high, but it'll still cost Americans a pretty penny to hit the road this holiday weekend. Triple A says the nationwide average price is four-84 a gallon. It was sitting at just three-12 a gallon this time last year.        Ukrainian President Zelensky says the U.S. decision to send more assistance to his country is historic. The Pentagon announced a new 820-million-dollar package of military supplies to be sent to the war-torn nation as it fights off the Russian invasion. Zelensky thanked President Biden for his "continued leadership and support" of Ukraine in its war against Russia.        The WHO says urgent action is needed after monkeypox cases tripled in two weeks in Europe. Over 90-percent of cases confirmed of the virus have been found in Europe as they've been reported in 31 European countries. Monkeypox is a viral disease that occurs mostly in central and western Africa.       Uber is releasing its latest safety report and the number of sexual assaults. According to company, it received just over 38-hundred reports of sexual assault and misconduct from 2019 through 2020. That's a 38 percent decrease from their prior report from 2017 through 2018.       "Minions: The Rise of Gru" is reeling in over ten-million-dollars in Thursday previews from domestic box offices. The latest entry in the "Despicable Me" franchise is expected to bring in between 65- and 75-million-dollars over the holiday weekend. That puts it on pace to be the lowest first week opening since the original film released in 2010.