• Under the Dome

    Under the Dome

    Session Enters Final Week - Again
    The House passed the budget last Thursday night. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday at 4:00 pm.  Barring a breakdown between the three branches of government, this should be the last week of legislative session.  The House 48-hour posting rule changes after the 50th legislative day of session, which has passed.  The Rule states, “The time requirements of this section shall not apply to House bills returned from the Senate with amendment, or, after the 50th legislative day, to any bill originating in the Senate.”  So many bills are eligible to be posted without 48-hour notice, although the leadership does try to give notice of postings in order to aid transparency.  The Senate rules do not change after the 50th day.  They continue to read, “The rule shall not apply to bills previously passed by the senate and amended by the house.”  These rules aid in the effort to move bills more efficiently in the final days of session.
    So far this week votes and hearings are posted for Tuesday:
    The House State Government and Elections Committee is meeting Tuesday at 2:30 pm to pass both H.7743 and S.2345, Acts Relating to Motor Vehicles – Parking Facilities and Privileges.  Unless a SubA is posted prior to the vote, these bills require all large parking lots (with a few exceptions, including industrial zoned properties) to include designated spots designed for persons transporting young children, under the age of three, and baby strollers.  Lots with 101-500 spots must designate two spots; lots with 501-1000 spots must designate three spots; and lots with more than 100 spots must add one additional spot for each 500 parking spaces over 1000.  Exemptions to this rule include single-family homes, duplexes, multifamily residences and industrial zoned properties.  The bill contains specifications for the dimensions of the spots as well as the location.  Property owners have two years from the date of enactment to comply.  The bills can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/SenateText22/S2345.pdf http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H7743.pdf
    The House Labor Committee meets at 3:30pm to pass a bill that bans employers from keeping any portion of an employee’s tip with exceptions for credit card charges associated with the tip.  A SubA has been posted, making the language mirror current federal law.  The bill number is H.7510. The SubA can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H7743.pdf
    The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on S.2705 and H.7363 SubA, Acts Relating to State Affairs and Government – Justices of the Peace – Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. These bills would continue to recognize remote notarizations that became necessary and widely used during the pandemic. Final language is still be negotiated and further amendments are expected.  The bills can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/SenateText22/S2705A.pdf
    One hearing of note will take place in House Finance Tuesday at 3:00pm in room 35.  H.8354, An Act Relating to Insurance – Psychiatry Resource Network Funding Act was introduced June 17th and is now scheduled for a hearing on the 21st.  The bill creates the Rhode Island psychiatry resource network for the primary purpose of equitably determining and collecting assessments for the cost of psychiatry resource networks in the state which are not covered by other federal or state funding.  An amount needed to pay for the program will be calculated each year and assessed on the following entities:

    • Writers of individual, group or stop loss insurers
    • HMOs
    • Third-party administrators
    • Preferred provider agreements
    • Fraternal Benefit Societies
    • Organizations managing claims for a self-insured entity
    • Self-insurers that provide an employee or group benefit plan with no claims manager
    • Governmental entities that provide employee or group benefit plan with no claims manager
    • Any entity, administrator or sponsor of any health care costs sharing program
    The bill can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H8354.pdf
    If you wish to submit written testimony, send it to HouseFinance@legislature.gov  Testimony should be sent by noon on Tuesday.  Please write your name, bill number and position in the Subject line of the email.
    A Few New Laws Added to the books:
    S.2418SubA/H.6652 are now 2022 Public Laws Chapters 82 and 81. Any business that wishes to hire a child, that requires a limited work permit under law, please note that the child must certify to the Department of Labor that the child has successfully completed a training program created by the department which addresses workers' rights, workplace health and safety, and workers' compensation before a permit can be issued. The program is up to three hours long and is anticipated to be available virtually.  While the law is effective today, the Department needs time to create the program and implement it.  The law can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/SenateText22/S2418A.pdf
    H.7511, now 2022 Public Law Chapter 73, eliminates the ability of the Department of Labor and Training to approve wages below minimum wage for person impaired due to a mental or physical disability. The new law can be viewed at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H7511.pdf
    Are You Considering Running for Office?
    If you are considering running for a General Assembly seat – House or Senate - the deadline is approaching quickly.  The Chamber can be most effective when business people run for office.  Declarations for candidacy must be filed June 27th 28th or 29th at the Local Board of Canvassers in the City or Town where you are registered to vote.
    The Declaration of Candidacy is the document you sign to start the process of becoming a candidate. You “declare” yourself as a candidate for a particular office and if you wish to run as a party candidate, you also “declare” yourself to be a member of that party. All candidates for all public and party offices must file a Declaration of Candidacy.
    More information can be found at Welcome to your Voter Information Center 
    New Bill Introductions:

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