M. Teresa Paiva Weed, President of the Senate in Rhode Island and state senator from District 13 (Newport, Jamestown) since 1992, announced yesterday that effective May 1, 2017, she will accept the presidency of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI), a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to assisting member hospitals to meet the health care needs of Rhode Islanders.

Her resignation as Senate President will occur over the next month or so, as will her resignation from the Senate.

Several local, state and public leaders have shared a few words with What’sUpNewp in reaction to the news of Senator Paiva Weed’s departure from the Senate.

Newport City Councilor John Florez shared the following statement with What’sUpNewp on Wednesday evening;

“Newport is very fortunate to have had Senator Paiva Weed’s serve as its representative in the Rhode Island State Senate. I wish her all the success and happiness in her new role as President of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.”

Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport, shared the following statement with What’sUpNewp on Wednesday evening;

“Teresa has been a wonderful advocate for Newport and Rhode Island throughout her time in public service. As an example, Fort Adams State Park and the infrastructure improvements done to maintain and enhance the park will benefit generations of visitors. These upgrades, in partnership with DEM, continue to offer an economically beneficial venue for marine events and festivals. These enhancements add to the public’s enjoyment of historic Fort Adams, the crown jewel of the Rhode Island Park System. Thank you Senate President! Your leadership has inspired all of us to strive to make Newport a better place to live.”

Joe Dias, Executive Director of Fort Adams Trust, shared the following statement with What’sUpNewp on Thursday morning;

“Teresa has been a vital part of the restoration and preservation of the Historic Fort Adams Structure and the entire infrastructure at Fort Adams State Park. Teresa has assisted the Fort Adams Trust in our efforts to preserve and restore Fort Adams and allow the public to tour the fort and use fort and surrounding grounds for education and public events.”

“Senator Paiva Weed saw the need to upgrade the Fort Adams Park facilities to host large scale sailing events.  Her insight and backing has allowed the State of Rhode, City of Newport, Sail Newport and the Fort Adams Trust to host the America’s Cup World Series Event in 2012 and the Volvo Ocean Races in 2015 and 2018.”

Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Newport City Councilor and former Mayor, shared the following statement with What’sUpNewp on Thursday;

“Everyone in Newport, Jamestown and the State has lost a good friend and advocate.  Teresa’s wide range of experience, expertise, and dedication is unparalleled.  She has positively impacted the lives of so many people in Rhode Island in particular the very young, disabled, seniors, and beyond.  Teresa, as Senate President has been stalwart in balancing the needs of her constituents with  the rest of Rhode Island.  She has fought hard for working families and has represented all Rhode Islanders well.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following prepared statement on Wednesday;

“Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed has dedicated two and a half decades to public service, and countless Rhode Islanders are better for it.  Teresa is my state senator, and I am proud to count her as a friend.  The legacy of her leadership will long be remembered, from her stewardship of Narragansett Bay and Fort Adams, to her work on education and health care, to the trail she blazed for the women who will follow in her footsteps at the State House.  I wish Teresa well as she begins the next chapter in her career.”

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin issued the following prepared statement on Wednesday;

“For decades, Senate President Paiva Weed has served as a tireless advocate on behalf of the citizens of Newport and the State of Rhode Island.  Her compassion for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable citizens has been unmatched during her tenure.

“As Attorney General and a former State Representative, I have always enjoyed a great working relationship with Teresa and consider her a friend.  I wish her the best of luck in her new position and believe her experience and leadership will be a tremendous benefit to the medical community.

“I look forward to working with the new Senate President on the important issues facing our state.”

Governor Gina Raimondo released the following prepared statement on Wednesday;

“Senate President Paiva Weed has dedicated her adult life to public service. Throughout her career, she has led the way to protect the most vulnerable people in our state and has taken strong stances to improve and protect social services. By rising to the top post in the Rhode Island Senate, she shattered a glass ceiling and has led her chamber with dignity, compassion and integrity for nearly a decade.

“I have enjoyed working with her to increase wages for homecare workers and improve the quality of care people across our state receive. I will miss our frequent meetings at the State House, but wish her all the best in her next endavor.

“Rhode Island is a stronger, better state because of Teresa.”

What do you think of Paiva Weed’s departure from the Senate? Comment below.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.