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5/18/2016 Governor signs into law Rep. Coughlin’s bill that includes victims of terrorism under RI’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund
STATE HOUSE – Rep. David A. Coughlin Jr.’s legislation (2016-H 7538) that would make Rhode Island residents who are victims of a domestic terrorist attack outside of Rhode Island, but still within the United States, eligible to receive victim’s compensation payments from RI’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund was signed into law yesterday by Governor Gina M. Raimondo. Newport resident Heather Abbott, whose case the legislation was based upon, was in attendance at the bill signing.

 “Domestic terrorism is now an ever-present danger to our citizens and their livelihoods and this new law will offer a modicum of relief should the worst happen to one of our Rhode Island residents,” said Representative Coughlin (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket).  “The purpose of terrorism is to destroy lives, physically and psychologically.  My hope is that this new law will afford unfortunate Rhode Island victims of these heinous acts the help they need to overcome the terror and piece back together their disrupted lives.”

Representative Coughlin worked with RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who administers the fund, on the legislation in response to the case of Newport native, and Boston Marathon Bombing victim, Heather Abbott, after Abbott was denied victim’s compensation payments by then General Treasurer Gina Raimondo after the terrorist attack.  It was determined that clarifying language was needed in order to include individuals who were victims of domestic terrorist attacks on United States soil.  Previously, only victims of terrorist attacks on foreign soil are deemed eligible to receive the victim compensation payments.

Rep. David A. Coughlin Jr. (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) with Newport native Heather Abbott in the State House Library at the bill signing of Rep. Coughlin’s legislation

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903