The Rhode Island General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 5, for the purpose of opening their 2021 session.

Due to the need for social distance necessitated by COVID-19, the Assembly will not be meeting at the State House, which remains closed to the public.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence. In accordance with the state constitution, the senior representative from Newport, Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown), will preside until the election of a new speaker, which is scheduled after Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea administers the oath of office to the members. Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty will administer the oath to the elected speaker. In November, the House Democratic Caucus endorsed Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) for speaker. Gov. Gina M. Raimondo is also scheduled to offer remarks.

The Senate is scheduled to convene at 4 p.m. in Sapinsley Hall at Rhode Island College in Providence. Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) will preside over its organization, which will include the formal election of president as well as a new president pro tempore and a new deputy president pro tempore. The Senate Democratic Caucus has endorsed President Dominick J. Ruggerio for another term as president. Secretary of State Gorbea will administer the oath of office to members and Governor Raimondo is scheduled to offer remarks to the Senate.

Due to the pandemic, the sessions will not be open to the public. They will be broadcast live by Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox and Full Channel on Channel 15, in high definition on Cox Channel 1013, and on Channel 34 by Verizon and subscribers. The sessions will also be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV.

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.