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Highlights from this week at the Rhode Island General Assembly, June 6 – 10, 2022.

For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

House Finance Committee approves 2023 state budget bill

The House Finance Committee has approved a $13.6 billion state budget (2022-H
7123A) for the 2023 fiscal year that provides targeted taxpayer relief and directs
spending of the remainder of the state’s American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA) funds to
strengthening existing commitments. The budget accelerates the phase-out of the auto
excise tax, adds a one-time child tax credit of $250 per child, eliminates the fee for
replacing new license plates, adds $4 million to increase the tax credit for elderly and
disabled residents, eliminates taxes on military pensions, reduces businesses’
unemployment tax rates, and includes $250 million in ARPA funds to address the
housing crisis. The measure now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives,
which is expected to take up the spending plan on Thursday, June 16.
Click here to see news release.

Let RI Vote Act signed into law

The Let RI Vote Act (2022-H 7100A, 2022-S 2007A) sponsored by House Majority
Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) and Senator Dawn
Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), which expands voter access while ensuring
the integrity of Rhode Island elections, was signed into law by Gov. Daniel McKee.
Click here to see news release.

Assembly votes to repeal law allowing subminimum wages for disabled workers

The General Assembly passed legislation (2022-H 7511, 2002-S 2242) sponsored by
Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Sen. John P.
Burke (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick) that would repeal a law allowing employers to pay
workers with disabilities below the minimum wage. The measure now moves to the governor’s office. Click here to see news release.

Assembly OKs bill lowering elder financial exploitation age

The General Assembly approved legislation (2022-S 2228, 2022-H 7246) sponsored
by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32,
Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) and Rep. Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington,
Warren) to lower the age at which a victim can be considered an elder under the
state’s elder financial exploitation law from 65 to 60. The measure now moves to the
governor’s office. Click here to see news release.

General Assembly approves ‘stolen valor’ bill

The General Assembly approved legislation (2022-H 7714A, 2022-S 2425A)
sponsored by Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) and Sen. Roger A.
Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) that would make it a crime to
fraudulently represent oneself as an active or veteran member of the military or armed
forces for the purpose of obtaining money, property or other tangible benefits. The
measure now moves to the governor’s office. Click here to see news release

Legislature passes bill allowing two-tiered licensing for mental health counselors

The General Assembly passed legislation (2022-S 2616A, 2022-H 7872A) introduced
by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) and Rep.
Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown) that would address the shortage
of mental health counselors by creating a two-tiered licensing structure to allow
applicants as mental health associates to practice under supervision prior to becoming
a licensed counselor or therapist. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

Assembly approves bill to protect elections cybersecurity

The General Assembly has approved legislation (2022-H 7732, 2022-S 2809)
sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist.74, Jamestown, Middletown) and Sen.
Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) to authorize the
secretary of state and the Board of Elections to conduct a cybersecurity assessment of
Rhode Island’s elections system and create systems to protect future elections from
cyberattack. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

Assembly passes bill to set safe standards for corrosion work on public projects

The General Assembly approved legislation (2022-H 6613A, 2022-S 2303A)
sponsored by House Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chairman David
A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) and Senate Deputy Majority Whip Ana
B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) to require all corrosion prevention and mitigation
work on state-funded projects to comply with best-practice standards for that
industry. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
Click here to see news release.

Assembly approves legislation creating a U.S. Bronze Star Medal license plate

The General Assembly approved legislation (2022-S 2136, 2022-H 7514) sponsored
by Sen. Walter S. Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) and Rep. John G.
Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) that creates a special motor vehicle
registration plate for recipients of the United States Bronze Star Medal. The measure
now moves to the governor’s office. Click here to see news release.

General Assembly OKs bill naming trilobite RI’s state fossil

The General Assembly gave its approval to legislation (2022-H 7908, 2022-S 2497)
sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) and
Sen. Alana DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) on behalf of a
teenage constituent to designate the trilobite Rhode Island’s state fossil.
Click here to see news release.

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