Representative Daniel P. Reilly (R-District 72 Middletown, Portsmouth) invited Portsmouth Middle School students to the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday, for a mock session in the Rhode Island House Chamber.

“It was so exciting to see local eighth grade students take a genuine interest in learning how our state government works.  Today, I played the role of Speaker of the House leading the session while students presented a bill they came up with during class, regarding driving while using cell phones.  The students successfully debated and voted on their bill, all in a very professional manner.  I was very impressed with all of the students.  Who knows, a future lawmaker or Speaker of the House could be sitting in this very room,” said Reilly.

The mock bill Portsmouth Middle School students voted on, whether or not cell phones should be prohibited while driving.  The mock bill passed 27 to 15.

Reilly added, “hosting a mock session gives students an opportunity to understand how lawmakers make and pass laws, and what it actually feels like to sit in their chair and go through the entire process.  I hope today inspired these young Rhode Islanders to either run for elected office when they come of age, or participate somehow in the democratic process which is a privilege.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.