• Under The Dome

    The 2023 Session Begins

    Welcome to the 2023 Subscription to Under the Dome.  Not only is it the beginning of a new session, but also the beginning of a new legislative term.  New legislators were sworn in last week, and we await the official naming of House and Senate Committee members in addition to committee chairs.  

    Key dates for 2023 include the following:

    Last day for Senate public bill introduction – To Be Announced (usually prior to Winter recess)
    Last day for House public bill introduction – To Be Announced (usually prior to Winter recess)
    Winter Recess – February 20-24, 2023
    Spring Recess – April 10-14, 2023

    Governor, Speaker Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggerio Announce Priorities

    Last Tuesday, Governor Dan McKee was sworn in as Governor, and both Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio were re-elected to lead their legislative bodies.  Below is a list of priorities each one highlighted in their inaugural/acceptance speeches.

    Governor McKee’s Priorities: (1) Raising incomes for all Rhode Islanders – making sure everyone has the skills to get good-paying jobs, (2) Raising education outcomes for children to reach Massachusetts levels by 2030, and (3) create a healthier Rhode Island where by reducing chronic illness and improving health outcomes.

    Speaker Shekarchi’s Priorities: (1) Review and address barriers to housing production in Rhode Island, (2) Make Rhode Island a leader in the bioscience field, and (3) Move away from fossil fuels.

    Senate President Ruggerio’s Priorities: (1) Ensure every student receives a quality education – overhaul the school funding formula as well as fund a pre-k program for every child, (2) Ensure every Rhode Islander can access health care, especially mental health care, and (3) Ensure our children inherit a cleaner more resilient environment. 

    Division of Taxation Proposes Electronic Transfer Rule

    The Division of Taxation released a proposed regulation based on legislation that was passed in 2022.  The legislation requires “larger business registrants” to file taxes through the use of an electronic transfer system which the regulation calls the “Modernized Electronic Filing (MEF) system, administered by the Internal Revenue Service, streamline sales tax return,
    and bulk electronic filings by third party providers.”  It also calls for payment of taxes owed through the Division of Taxation’s on-line tax-payer portal, payments through MEF, single or bulk electronic payments by third party providers, payments made by EFT, and payments
    through an authorized credit card processor.  

    The Regulation defines a "Larger business registrant" as a person who:

    1. Operates as a business whose combined annual liability for all taxes administered by the Division of Taxation for the entity is or exceeds five thousand dollars ($5,000.00); or
    2. Operated as a business whose annual gross income is over one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for the entity.

    The regulation specifically states that “Individuals and trusts filing personal or fiduciary income tax returns are not larger business registrants for the purposes of R.I. Gen. Laws § 44-1-31.2.”

    This requirement is set to become effective January 1, 2023; however, the public comment period for the proposed regulation ends January 30, 2023.  To read the proposed regulation, or to submit comments, go to:  https://rules.sos.ri.gov/promulgations/part/280-20-30-1 

    CHAMBER MEMBER ACTION REQUEST - Preparations for 2023 Session

    Throughout the legislative session, the Chamber may be calling on you, asking for your assistance conveying our message on legislation to legislators.  Please go to https://vote.sos.ri.gov and click on “Find Your Elected Officials.”  Enter zip code and address.  Find your “Representative District” legislator and your “Senate District” legislator (if you live in Rhode Island).  Email your name and the legislators name to _____________________.  The Chamber will be compiling a database for future grassroots efforts.  If you also know a legislator who lives in another district, please send that information to the Chamber as well and we will include it in the database.

    Thank you for your help!

    The following new bills have been filed:

    House Bill No. 5012  BY  Bennett, Baginski, McGaw, Fenton-Fung, Corvese, Solomon, AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURANCE POLICIES -- PHYSICAL THERAPY COPAY (Limits copays, coinsurance or office deductibles for services of a physical therapist to the amount authorized for the services of a primary care physician or osteopath.) http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText23/HouseText23/H5012.pdf

    House Bill No. 5015  BY  Morales, Shallcross Smith, Speakman, Bennett, Cruz, McEntee, Henries, Vella-Wilkinson, Stewart, Tanzi, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- MINIMUM WAGES (Repeals the law that prevented municipalities from establishing their own minimum wage for their employees.)  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText23/HouseText23/H5015.pdf

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