The Rhode Island General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at 4 p.m. as members of the Senate and House of Representatives are sworn into office. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea will administer the oath of office to the legislators, including 14 new representatives and seven new senators, in their respective chambers.

The rare New Year’s Day session is due to the state constitution, which calls for the General Assembly to meet on the first Tuesday of January, making no distinction for the holiday. The last time the opening of session fell on New Year’s Day was 2013. It won’t happen again until 2030.

Per state law, the senior representative from Newport, Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73 (Newport, Middletown), will preside over the House at the beginning of the session. Rep. Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) is expected to be re-elected to his third full two-year term as Speaker of the House.

Likewise, the senior senator from Newport, Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), will preside over the Senate. Sen. Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) is expected to be re-elected to his first full two-year term as Senate President.

The House of Representatives will be composed of 66 Democrats and nine Republicans, while the Senate will be composed of 33 Democrats and five Republicans.

Among the representatives-elect are:

  • Rebecca Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence)
  • Mario Mendez (D-Dist. 13, Johnston, Providence)
  • Chris Millea (D-Dist. 16, Cranston)
  • Thomas Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick)
  • James Jackson (D-Dist. 26, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick)
  • George Nardone (R-Dist. 28, Coventry)
  • Justine Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich)
  • John Lyle (D-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket)
  • David Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester)
  • Bernard Hawkins (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester)
  • Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket)
  • Jose Serodio (D-Dist. 64, East Providence)
  • Liana Cassar (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence)
  • Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown)

Among the senators-elect are;

  • Sam Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence)
  • Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence)
  • Gordon Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich)
  • Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Gloucester)
  • Melissa Murray (D-Dist. 24, North Smithfield, Woonsocket)
  • Mark McKenney (D-Dist. 30, Warwick)
  • Bridget Valverde (D-Dist. 35, East Greenwich, Narragansett, North Kingstown)

The opening day House session will be broadcast live by Capitol TV, seen on Channel 15 for Cox Communications and Full Channel, Channel 1013 for Cox HD, and Channel 34 for Verizon, with the Senate session set to air immediately afterward. They will both be live streamed at

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).