Representative Deborah Ruggiero
Chairwoman, House Committee on Small Business
Member, House Committee on Finance
Chairwoman, House Finance Subcommittee - Environment/Transportation
Co-Chair, Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning
Deborah Ruggiero (D) has served the residents of Jamestown and Middletown in District 74 since first being elected in November 2008. She is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business and is a member of the House Committee on Finance, chairing the committee’s Environment/Transportation Subcommittee.
Aside from her legislative duties, she is president of DR Communications Group, an advertising and marketing company. The native Rhode Islander is the creator and host of the award-winning radio show, “Amazing Women,” which highlights Rhode Island women who make a difference. She is also a member of Save the Bay and Jamestown Rotary.
Representative Ruggiero has championed legislation assisting the agricultural and seafood communities, improving home care patient rights, expanding renewable energy opportunities and supporting economic development at Rhode Island’s ports. She co-chaired the Joint Port Facilities Study Commission, which developed several recommendations to help the state’s economy.
As chairperson of the Small Business Renewable Energy Commission, she helped enact several comprehensive renewable energy laws to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels. She has been a leader in sponsoring numerous renewable energy laws, including several encouraging distributed generation, that promote good economic and environmental policy. She sponsored the legislation creating the Renewable Energy Growth Program, as well as subsequent bills extending and expanding the successful program to spur development of small-scale renewable energy projects.
In 2014, she co-chaired the task force that studied the nexus of mental health laws and gun rights following the 2012 Newtown, Conn., school shooting and sponsored the resulting law requiring Rhode Island to submit more data to the national database used to screen gun purchases.
She was the sponsor of the Safe Schools Act, Rhode Island’s anti-bullying law. She also sponsored legislation to remove regulations on small businesses.
In 2017, she was honored by the Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) with its 2017 Legislative Partner Award, and by the Groden Center with its Advocacy Award. The Rhode Island State Nurses Association named her 2012 Legislator of the Year for her approach to health care issues. In 2011, the YWCA Northern Rhode Island recognized her as “a rising political star.”
She was born on April 2, 1958. A resident of Jamestown, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She’s an avid golfer and loves to cook.
78 Columbia Avenue
Jamestown, RI 02835