Senate unveils 'Moving the Needle' legislative package
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence), Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown) and other senators unveiled a legislative package designed to improve Rhode Island’s business climate and its position on national business-friendliness surveys. The legislation was developed from the recommendations of a joint report by the Senate and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council called “Moving the Needle.” Click here to see news release.
Senate passes Raptakis murder/parole bill
The Senate has approved legislation that will require individuals convicted of first- or second-degree murder and who have not been sentenced to life in prison to serve at least 50 percent of a sentence prior to being eligible for parole. The bill (2013-S 0361), introduced by Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich), now goes to the House, where an identical bill (2013-H 5145) has been introduced by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick). Click here to see news release.
State budget hearings continue
The House Finance Committee, chaired by East Providence Rep. Helio Melo, announced hearings this week on many elements of the 2014 budget bill (2013-H 5127), as well as a presentation from the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) on economic development, and a hearing on a Middletown borrowing bill. Click here for the schedule of hearings.
Marshall appointed to shared services commission
Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) has been appointed to the Joint Commission on Shared Municipal Services, House Speaker Gordon D. Fox announced recently.
The permanent panel has been working since last year to help find ways for cities and towns to cut costs by sharing municipal services.
“It’s a great honor that the speaker has expressed confidence in my municipal background and chosen me to serve in this capacity," Marshall said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to putting my experience to use in finding ways to address the implementation challenges of the sharing of municipal services so our towns and cities can reap its benefits.”
Marshall is serving his first term in the General Assembly.
Silva historic tax credit bill increases accountability, useful economic data
Rep. Agostinho F. Silva (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls) is sponsoring a bill (2013-H 5637) on behalf of Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee that will establish reporting requirements for each taxpayer seeking tax credits for rehabilitating certified historic structures. Tax agreements and annual reports regarding tax credits would also be available to the public under provisions of the bill. Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) sponsored the companion legislation (2013-S 0733) as part of the Senate’s “Moving The Needle” bill package to improve Rhode Island’s economy. Click here to see news release.