Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) is highlighting her legislative priorities for the 2017 General Assembly session.  She intends on continuing her focus on the economic impact of sea rise and flooding, and chairing the House Tourism Study Commission.  She is also focusing on aging citizens’ issues, and creating a small business council for her district.

“There is a lot of work to be done this legislative session and I have heard the ideas and concerns of my constituents, and these are the issues I will be focusing on throughout the year,” said Representative Carson.  “All of these topics are of great importance to Newport residents and I am looking forward to representing their best interests up at the State House. Newport is the tourism center for the state, with an aging population in a community supported by small businesses.  In addition, I will continue my commitment to the environment and representing the City of Newport and its needs in the State House.”

The first priority of Representative Carson is to continue the work being done on the 2016 study commission that assessed Rhode Island’s financial risk and economic exposure due to flooding and sea rise, which she was the Chairwoman.  This is a particularly important issue to Representative Carson’s district in Newport.  She intends to focus on creating a flood audit program for property owners so that property owners may understand the risks to their property.

“Many commercial and residential property owners are vulnerable to rising sea levels.  We need to continue to focus on short term mitigation efforts and long term strategies for preparing property owners with the tools they need to build their resiliency and protect their investments.  That is the where I will focus,” said Representative Carson.

Representative Carson’s second priority is making her tourism commission, which she is also the Chairwoman, a permanent standing commission in the House of Representatives.  Since the Rhode Island economy relies so much on its tourism industry, Representative Carson believes a permanent commission is necessary to ensure that Rhode Island is always marketed to the outside world in the best and most cost-efficient ways possible.

“In order for Rhode Island to grow economically, we must leverage our strongest assets: the environment and our tourism industry are at the top of that list,” said Representative Carson.  “It is crucial that we market Rhode Island in the most effective and cost-efficient ways for the taxpayers and this commission can monitor and assess what works and what does not.  The need to market our state in a tourism capacity will never go away so this commission should become a permanent fixture at the State House.”

The third priority for Representative Carson is helping the senior citizens in her district.  Issues such as transportation, senior center and program funding, and opposing any cuts or changes to the Medicare system are concerns that Representative Carson will be advocating for to help her senior constituents this session.

Finally, Representative Carson will be looking to institute a small business council within her district in Newport.

“As I have stated before, small businesses constitute a majority of the businesses within District 75 and their various issues and concerns are important to the economy of Newport.  A small business council would go a long way in finding solutions that benefit our small businesses when problems arise,” added Representative Carson.

Representative Carson will also continue to hold her open constituent meetings throughout the district.  Her first meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. to be held at the Newport Public Library. The meeting will focus on small business issues.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).