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This Week At the General Assembly

A look at what happened recently at the State House.

This summary was provided by Rhode Island General Assembly staff:

"Bill to ask voters to OK casino gambling at Twin River
Rep. William San Bento Jr. (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket, North Providence) announced this week he will introduce legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes on April 26 to ask voters if they want state-operated casino gambling (table games) at Twin River in Lincoln. The bill would put the question before voters either at a special election later this year or as part of the 2012 general election ballot. 

Bills set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to set comprehensive measures in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Rhode Island. Under the direction of the Department of Environmental Management, emission level targets would be set for 2015, 2020 and 2050. The Senate bill (2011-S 0724) was introduced by Sen. William A. Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick). A House bill (2011-H 5887) was introduced by Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston).

Senate commission begins study of transportation funding
A Senate commission began its study this week into ways to provide a stream of revenue for state administered highways, mass transit construction and maintenance of local roads. Created by legislation approved in the Senate last year, the Senate Study Commission on Sustainable Transportation Funding will be co-chaired by Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 11, Middletown, Little Compton, Tiverton, Newport).

Medicaid, food stamps issues hearings held
The House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Services, chaired by Rep. Eileen S. Naughton (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) held a hearing on Medicaid and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program funding in Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee’s proposed 2012 budget.

Ruggiero, Miller bill aimed at reducing energy use, helping to create green jobs
A bill (2011-H 52812011-S 0187) sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Warwick) and Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) would extend the life of the Renewable Energy Fund and make a technical change necessary for the implementation of existing law requiring utilities to invest in energy efficiency when it’s less expensive than the energy it would save. The move would decrease Rhode Islanders’ energy costs and carbon emissions by encouraging efficiency would also help the local economy by creating green jobs in energy-efficiency businesses.

Senate OKs Da Ponte bill addressing waste processing facilities
The Senate approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence, Pawtucket) to regulate waste processing facilities in the state. The bill (2011-S 0184) bans any debris processing facility within 1,000 feet of a residential area from processing more than 150 tons of waste per day.

Bill introduced to prevent welfare fraud
Rep. Doreen Marie Costa (R-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) has introduced legislation aimed at preventing fraud by requiring photo identification for food stamp program participants. Under the bill (2011-H 6063), any person using an electronic balance transfer (EBT) card or a supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) card to purchase food or secure money would be required to produce a valid form of photo identification as proof of identity."

 

 

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