An Update from the State House
House and Senate Name Committee Assignments
There are some new faces on the House Committees as released this week. Rep. Robert Jacquard (D-Cranston) was named Chairman of the House Corporations Committee, replacing long time Chairman Brian Patrick Kennedy. Rep. Kennedy was named Speaker Pro Tempore and will now be on the rostrum when Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is not able to lead the floor. Rep. Jacquard was elected to the House in 1992, making him one of the most senior members of the House. He is a retired police sergeant and a self-employed attorney.
Leading the House Labor Committee will be Rep. Robert Craven Sr. (D-North Kingstown). Rep. Craven was first elected to the House in 2012 and is currently an attorney at Robert E. Craven & Associates in North Kingstown. He is an assistant solicitor and probate judge in Charlestown and an assistant solicitor in East Providence.
Below is a list of committees that hear business issues periodically. Please note the committee membership for your Senator and Representative.
House Finance House Labor
Chairman Marvin Abney Chairman Robert Craven
Vice Chair Kenneth Marshall Vice Chair Mary Messier
Vice Chair Teresa Tanzi Vice Chair Stephen Casey
Rep. Gregg Amore Rep. Christopher Blazejewski
Rep. Jean-Philippe Barros Rep. Helder Cunha
Rep. Grace Diaz Rep. John Edwards
Rep. Antonio Giarrusso Rep. Kathleen Fogarty
Rep. Joy Hearn Rep. Deborah Fellela
Rep. Alex Marszalkowski Rep. Kenneth Marshall
Rep. James McLaughlin Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee
Rep. Kenneth Mendonca Rep. Daniel McKiernan
Rep. Michael Morin Rep. Robert Nardolillo
Rep. William O’Brien Rep. Brian Newberry
Rep. Robert Quattrocchi Rep. Jared Nunes
Rep. Scott Slater Rep. Aaron Regunberg
Rep. Carlos Tobon Rep. Stephen Ucci
House Corporations House Health, Education & Welfare
Chairman Robert Jacquard Chairman Joseph McNamara
Vice Chair Mary Messier Vice Chair Dennis Canario
Vice Chair Raymond Johnston Jr Vice Chair Mia Ackerman
Rep. Stephen Casey Rep. Samuel Azzinaro
Rep. Michael Chippendale Rep. David Bennett
Rep. Antonio Giarrusso Rep. Julie Casimiro
Rep. Raymond Hull Rep. Susan Donovan
Rep. Katherine Kazarian Rep. Arthur Handy
Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy Rep. Robert Lancia
Rep. Charlene Lima Rep. Shelby Maldonado
Rep. Michael Morin Rep. Ramon Perez
Rep. Jeremiah O’Grady Rep. Robert Phillips
Rep. Joseph Solomon, Jr. Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell
Rep. Anastasia Williams Rep. Sherry Roberts
Rep. Moira Walsh
House Judiciary Committee House Environment & Natural Resources
Chairman Cale Keable Chairman Arthur Handy
Vice Chair Edith Ajello Vice Chair David Bennett
Vice Chair Carol Hagan McEntee Vice Chair Jeremiah O’Grady
Rep. Joseph Almeida Rep. Susan Donovan
Rep. Dennis Canario Rep. Raymond Hull
Rep. Arthur Corvese Rep. Katherine Kazarian
Rep. David Coughlin Rep. Robert Lancia
Rep. Robert Craven Rep. John Lombardi
Rep. John Edwards Rep. Alex Marszalkowski
Rep. Blake Filippi Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee
Rep. Jason Knight Rep. Robert Nardolillo
Rep. Jeremiah O’Grady Rep. William O’Brien
Rep. Justin Price Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell
Rep. Sherry Roberts Rep. Aaron Regunberg
Rep. Evan Shanley Rep. Carlos Tobon
Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson
House Small Business
Chairwoman Deborah Ruggiero Rep. Justin Price
Vice Chair Daniel McKiernan Rep. Robert Quattrocchi
Vice Chair Michael Morin Rep. Evan Shanley
Rep. Lauren Carson Rep. Teresa Tanzi
Rep. Gregory Costantino Rep. Thomas Winfield
Rep. Helder Cunha
Rep. Deborah Fellela
Rep. Arthur Handy
Rep. John Lombardi
Rep. Jared Nunes
Rep. Robert Phillps
Senate Finance Senate Commerce
Chairman Daniel DaPonte Chairman Roger Picard
Vice Chair Louis P. DiPalma Vice Chair Marc Cote
Vice Chair Walter S. Felag Sen. Hanna Gallo
Sen. Ryan Pearson Sen. Frank Ciccone III
Sen. James Doyle Sen. Paul Fogarty
Sen. Maryellen Goodwin Sen. Frank Lombardo III
Sen. Nicholas Kettle Sen. Elaine Morgan
Sen. James Seveney Sen. Ana Quezada
Sen. Susan Sosnowski
Senate Health and Human Services Senate Labor
Chairman Joshua Miller Chairman Paul Fogarty
Vice Chair Gayle Goldin Vice Chair Frank Lombardo III
Sen. James Sheehan Sen. Frank Lombardi
Sen. Jeanine Calkin Sen. Frank Ciccone III
Sen. Elizabeth Crowley Sen. James Doyle
Sen. Thomas Paolino Sen. Mark Gee
Sen. Adam Satchell Sen. Gayle Goldin
Sen. Susan Sosnowski Sen. Maryellen Goodwin
Sen. Michael McCaffrey
Senate Environment Senate Judiciary
Chairwoman Hanna M. Gallo Chairman Michael McCaffrey
Vice Chair Harold M. Metts Vice Chair Paul Jabour
Sen. Adam Satchell Sen. Erin Lynch Prata
Sen. Louis DiPalma Sen. Stephen Archambault
Sen. Thomas Paolino Sen. William Conley Jr.
Sen. Ryan Pearson Sen. Cynthia Coyne
Sen. Ana Quezada Sen. Mark Gee
Sen. James Seveney Sen. Frank Lombardi
Sen. James Sheehan Sen. Harold Metts
Sen. Donna Nesselbush
Sen. Leonidas Raptakis
House Oversight Committee To Discuss Retail Renewal Permit Process
On Thursday, January 19th, At the Rise (around 4:20 p.m.), the House Oversight Committee will be hearing testimony from Director Robert Hull of the Department of Revenue and the Tax Administrator, Neena Savage about the current process for the application or renewal of Retail Sales Permits. The hearing will be held at the State House in Room 101.
The following bills were filed last week:
House Bill No. 5056, AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS -- DRIVE-THROUGH WINDOWS -- ASSISTANCE TO DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING (Requires businesses with drive-through windows to install hard-of-hearing equipment at the ordering station.)
House Bill No. 5057, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- MINIMUM WAGE (Increases the minimum wage to ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50) commencing July 1, 2017.)
House Bill No. 5058, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN (Requires children who seek a special limited work permit to successfully complete a worker rights' training program established and funded by the department of labor and training.)
House Bill No. 5069, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (Repeals the "Rhode Island Health Care Reform Act of 2004 – Health Insurance Oversight" as well as the "Rhode Island Health Benefit Exchange, and establishes the Rhode Island comprehensive health insurance program.)
House Bill No. 5078, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT (Changes the period of time required for occupancy for transient lodging accommodations from 30 days to 6 days.)
House Bill No. 5107, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - MINIMUM WAGES (Commencing on January 1, 2018, require that all developmental disabilities organizations that employ five (5) employees or more and who are reimbursed for such services by the state, to pay their employees at least fifteen ($15.00) dollars per hour.)
House Bill No. 5108, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY (Encourages commercial property owners to install vehicle barriers at their retail establishment locations, and also permit insurers to consider the installation of such barriers to provide a discount on the owner's insurance policy.)
House Bill No. 5113, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE (Permits the use of fax or email transmission of the medical certificate required for issuance of a CDL by the division of motor vehicles.)
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Over 7,000 small business owners have participated nationwide and in the U.K., and the program continues to expand. With a 99% graduation rate, business owner participants are translating the knowledge they gain from the program into increased revenue and job growth — within just six months of graduating, 69% of participants have increased their revenues, and 48% have created new jobs.
The 12-week educational curriculum, developed by Babson College, focuses on practical skills that can immediately be applied by business owners — including accounting, negotiating, marketing, human resources management, and much more. Business owners also receive one-on-one mentoring from a dedicated business advisor, and develop a growth plan specific to their business.
Eligible applicants must be the business owner, have at least 2 employees (can include the owner), have been in operation at least 2 years, made at least $100,000 in gross revenue in the most recent fiscal year, and must be located in Rhode Island.
Learn more about the program and access the 10 minute online application here.
Application deadline January 30, 2017
An Update from the State House
Welcome to the first edition of Under the Dome 2017!
On January 3, 2017, the legislature began its new year. In the coming weeks, legislation will be filed, hearings will be held and the Chamber may ask you to contact your legislators when the need arises. If you haven’t done so already, please go to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s web page, https://vote.sos.ri.gov/ and enter your information as requested (if you live in Rhode Island), so that you will know who represents you as a State Representative and a State Senator. Thank you for your help!
Awaiting Committee Assignments – Neither the House nor the Senate has announced any committee membership lists at this time. Those assignments are expected to be made soon.
The calendar for 2017 has been released. The key dates to keep in mind are:
Opening Day January 3, 2017
Last Day for Public Bill Introduction February 16, 2017
Winter Break February 20-24, 2017
Spring Recess April 17-21, 2017
The following bills were filed last Thursday and Friday.
House Resolution No. 5015, HOUSE RESOLUTION EXTENDING THE EXPIRATION AND REPORTING DATES OF THE SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY METHODS FOR GROWING TOURISM IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND THROUGH COORDINATED BRANDING AND MARKETING EFFORTS (Extending the reporting and expiration dates of the House Commission to study the methods for growing tourism in Rhode Island to May 15, 2017 and expiring on August 15, 2017.)
House Bill No. 5021, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - BUSINESS CORPORATION TAX (Exempts a corporation from the minimum corporate tax for the first three years following the date of incorporation.)
House Bill No. 5022, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - SALES AND USE TAXES - LIABILITY AND COMPUTATION (Creates a sales tax holiday for the days of August 12, 2017 and August 13, 2017 and no excise or sales taxes would be collected on non-business sales of tangible personal property with certain exceptions.)
House Bill No. 5024, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- PERSONAL INCOME TAX (Increases the exemption of social security income from state income tax from $15,000 to $30,000 commencing in 2018.)
House Bill No. 5029, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION (Provides that corporations with less than fifty (50) employees shall not be subject to the four hundred fifty dollar ($450) minimum corporate tax.)
House Bill No. 5041, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- CONTROL OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION (Codifies into law Carcieri's "Illegal Immigration Control Order" which would require the DOA to order the dept to utilize the E-Verify progress to verify the employment eligibility of new hires & businesses doing business for the department.)
As we kick off the new year with the best of intentions to make 2017 the best one yet, don't forget to make some resolutions for your business. Whether it is to increase sales, learn how to market your business better with social media tools, or grow staff and production by 10%, etc., having goals is a proven methodology to improving overall health and success of your business. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the progress that was made in the last year, and the beginning of the year should be about strategically planning for your company's growth and increased success.
A simple google search of "Business Resolutions" will bring up tons of ideas for strengthening and refining your goals for your business. One great article published by Intuit Quickbooks summarized the more common New Year's resolutions for small businesses in 2016:
Resolve to Re-Evaluate Your Mission Statement and Overall Goals
Resolve to Ask for-and Listen to-Feedback
Resolve to Refresh Your Social Media and Marketing Strategies
Resolve to Enhance Your Technology Footprint
Resolve to Plan Ahead
Resolve to Take a Breath and Nourish Your Mind and Body
Resolve to Learn One New Thing
Resolve to Achieve a Bit of Balance
The full article can be found here. Some other articles discuss more specific goals for particular businesses and industries.
The most important thing to remember is the process of establishing your resolutions is what will be the key. Outlining goals and strategizing for your business' growth and success will help guide your business practices and decisions throughout the year. Sticking to your resolutions will be that much easier!
Happy New Year!