Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) were signed into law by Governor Gina M. Raimondo last week.

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown)

The first bill (2018-H 7080A) authorizes a city or town clerk/recorder of deeds, if they so choose, to accept electronic documents for recording real property and land records and to index and store those documents.

“I sponsored this bill to modernize real property law for the 21st century and to streamline real estate transactions for more efficiency. The law enables cities and towns to accept electronic recording for real estate documents to establish chain of title.  Lawyers will no longer have to travel to a city or town hall to actually record the information.  The Rhode Island Realtors and the Town and City Clerks Association were very supportive of this bill and I am happy it is now law,” said Representative Ruggiero.

The second piece of legislation (2018-H 7121) would authorize the Rhode Island health benefit exchange to seek a waiver under the Affordable Care Act to allow qualified small business owners and sole proprietors to purchase qualified health benefit plans offered by the exchange and not be forced into the individual market.

“Health insurance is one of the biggest costs for small business and one in four businesses is a sole proprietor or an S corp. This bill enables CPAs, financial planners, lawyers, physician groups and others who are sole proprietors or S corps to get coverage in the small group insurance market and not be forced to the individual market,” said Representative Ruggiero.  “The feds anticipated that some states would want to make a change and created the Section 1332 waiver, so let’s use it to help small business in this state.  And if the small business adds another employee—which is what we want business to do—create jobs—they just add the person to the small group health insurance plan and it’s not an administrative nightmare.”

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.