Photo by adamjt,
a Creative Commons license.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.