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5/3/2019 Two bills sponsored by Sen. Lawson pass Senate concerning apprenticeships and contractor bonds
STATE HOUSE – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) were passed by the Rhode Island Senate this week.  The two bills relate to apprenticeship programs and contractor bonds for state projects.

“Apprenticeships and increased competition for state contracts will keep our economy strong, vibrant and competitive.  In order for our state to continue its economic progress from the Great Recession, we must adapt to new models of development and both of these bills will keep our residents, and future employees, working toward a successful middle class life while also saving money and lowering costs for taxpayers,” said Senator Lawson.

On Wednesday, May 1, the Senate passed a resolution (2019-S 0711) respectfully requesting that the Governor’s Workforce Board partner with the Department of Labor and Training (DLT) to develop a report on the feasibility of expanding non-trade registered apprenticeship programs in Rhode Island.
Non-trade apprenticeship are models that fall outside the traditional trades such as plumbing and carpentry and into new areas such as information technology and healthcare.

The Senate resolution does not require House approval and copies of it were sent to the executive director and the chairperson of the Governor’s Workforce Board and the director of DLT.

This past Thursday, May 2, the Senate passed legislation (2019-S 0585) that requires contractors awarded road and bridge construction projects by the Department of Transportation with a contract price in excess of $150 thousand be required to furnish a bond equal to at least 50 percent of the contract price.

The legislation amends the statutory bonding requirements for public projects which have not been amended in 20 years.  The amendment will increase the pool of companies that can bid on state projects which could potentially increase competition and lower costs for taxpayers.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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