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H7449—Keep Sakonnet River Bridge Free from Tolls
This proposed law would keep the Sakonnet River Bridge free of tolls and maintain the status of the bridge under the RI Dept of Transportation. The hard working people of Rhode Island and especially the East Bay already pay enough money in taxes and fees! I am working hard with the legislature to protect the interest of all District 70 residents, as well as those in surrounding areas - We do not need another tax or fee increasing our day-to-day living expenses. While this bill did not pass, the tolls were taken out of the budget.

H8243—Reduce Sales Tax from 7% to 3%
Rhode Island is plagued with one of the highest sales taxes in New England. In order to be more competitive with our neighbors, we need to reduce our sales tax back to the initial level instituted in 1968. Because our district is so near to Massachusetts, which has a lower sales tax rate, many of our residents go across the state line and purchase goods and services. If those same items were purchased in Rhode Island – at a reduced tax rate, the entire state would benefit along with the taxpayers. This innovative legislation will phase in the required changes over the course of 4 years, with each progressive year adding more revenue back to Rhode Island, and leveling the tax “playing field” with each step. In this plan, food, clothes and medicine will continue to be exempt from tax, ensuring we keep essential items affordable for all Rhode Islanders.

H7045—Post Foreclosure Eviction of Tenants
Preventing the eviction of tenants who live in properties going through foreclosure is the right thing to do. This bill would allow these tenants who are current with their rent, and in compliance with their agreement, to stay in their home. Without this bill a large number of families will continue to be forced out onto the streets through no fault of their own. Additionally, the banks who got us into this economic mess should find this bill to be beneficial by maintaining the property’s cash flow and keeping up the value of the property.

H7046—Sex Offender Registration
This bill would close the loophole that allows sex offenders to be free from registering with local police departments while they are appealing their classification. Currently, dangerous sex offenders can appeal their status and thus not register with the local police while their appeal is under consideration allowing them to live in close proximity to children and schools. The Governor signed this bill into law in June 2010.

H7047—Gas Station Attendant
This bill would allow 16 year olds to work in a gas station that provides full service gas pumping. Teenagers can pump their own gas at self serve stations so they should also be able to be employed at this task. Our district has several full-service stations, and this bill helps support those businesses. This bill became law in June 2010.

H7317—Decriminalization of Marijuana
This legislation would take away the criminal penalties for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana (under 1 ounce) and impose a civil penalty. Currently there are 40 inmates in the ACI who are incarcerated for simple possession. This costs the taxpayers of RI on average $44,000/year/inmate. Twelve other states already have decriminalized marijuana and have not encountered any issues. This bill will reduce the number of criminal cases before our courts, allow our police to concentrate on more serious criminals and lower the expense to RI taxpayers. Despite the fact that I had 36 cosponsors on this legislation, the bill did not come out of committee.

H7351—Prevailing Wage Reporting
This bill would require contractors working on publicly funded projects to forward their prevailing wage reports to the local awarding authority rather than the Dept of Labor and Training (RIDLT). The RIDLT is already overburdened and understaffed and cannot accurately review and enforce the prevailing wage laws in our state. The local awarding authority is already on site and aware of any contractors, subcontractors or suppliers who are on site. This will help identify sooner those contractors who are attempting to circumvent the prevailing wage laws. Negotiations are ongoing with the interested parties on this bill.