This Week at the State House

The Rhode Island State House. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By WPRO News

Rules changes

The House Rules Committee heard and made some changes to the way the House is allowed to do business. This came as a partial win for the Reform Caucus, who had proposed a requirement that bill amendments be publicly posted online 48 hours before any votes – the committee passed a 24 hour requirement, though it can be waived by chairpeople for insignificant changes. Members of the caucus who were at the hearings said there’s more to be done, but they’re pleased for now.

“We asked for 48 hours knowing that it was a reach, but you know how you negotiate, you always settle for 24 hours. We are thrilled and we thank the House Rules Committee and the Speaker for recognizing that the public has a right to know what’s in a bill and legislators need to be able to read that,” said Representative Deborah Ruggiero.

Changes were also made to sexual harassment policies, including the creation of an office to investigate harassment claims and the elimination of a “gag rule” many felt prevented victims from speaking up. The revised rules bill is expected to go before the full House next week.

Meanwhile, house Speaker Nick Mattiello gave his thoughts on the Reform Caucus on Dan Yorke State of Mind.
Listen to “DYSOM SNEAK PEAK: Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has a new name for the Reform Caucus….” on Spreaker.

Financial Literacy

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner plugged legislation that would require schools teach financial literacy starting in the next school year. Pawtucket Senator Sandra Cano, a prime sponsor, said 30 senators had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Warwick Representative Joe McNamara is the bill’s prime sponsor in the House.

Governor backs State Police in recruit case

A Channel 10 report detailed a State Police lieutenant’s claims that higher-ups pressured him to change a report on a police academy recruit who’d had past run-ins with police. That recruit was not admitted to the academy.

Asked about the story, Governor Gina Raimondo stood by the State Police’s report that said there was nothing behind the lieutenant’s claims.

“I have zero tolerance for any behavior of that kind, favoritism or retaliation. Having said that I have confidence in [Colonel Assumpico]. She did a thorough investigation, found they weren’t substantiated and I have confidence in that,” Raimondo said. She also said this had nothing to do with Assumpico vacating her post as head of the State Police.

Channel 10 reporter Parker Gavigan discussed the story with WPRO’s Matt Allen.

Listen to “Parker Gavigan – RI State Police lieutenant says boss pressured him to change recruit background report” on Spreaker.

Lawmakers push for action on Hasbro

Pawtucket area legislators are petitioning for Raimondo to work on keeping toy maker Hasbro, which could relocate, in Pawtucket. They wrote a letter saying they don’t want to lose 1,500 jobs and $60 million in earnings, and offered to meet with Raimondo and Hasbro to discuss options.

Raimondo’s office said her top priority is keeping the company in the state and will work with local leaders in what will likely be a months-long process.

Coming up: State of the State address

Raimondo will give her State of the State address on Tuesday night at 7 pm.  You can hear the address LIVE on our sister station 790 WPRV!

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