Representative Patricia A. Serpa
Chairwoman, House Committee on Oversight
Member, House Committee on Rules
Patricia A. Serpa (D) has represented District 27 in West Warwick, Coventry and Warwick since first being elected in November 2006. She serves as chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight. She is also a member of the House Committee on Rules.
As Oversight chairwoman in the past two years, she has led investigations into the computer glitches in the UHIP rollout, which led to the delay of food and health benefits, as well as to problems with both DCYF and the Training School, as well as the delay of tax refunds to many Rhode Islanders.
In 2017, Representative Serpa introduced a law that requires physicians involved in the delivery and care of infants to report cases of infants born with or affected by substance abuse.
For her advocacy efforts, in 2017 she received the Legislative Champion Award from RI Partnership for Home Care; the Making a Difference Award from LeadingAge RI; and the Humane State Legislator Award from the U.S. Humane Society.
In 2016, she co-sponsored legislation that led to a constitutional amendment restoring the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction over the General Assembly. Other successful 2016 legislation she sponsored now makes freestanding emergency care facilities subject to the same regulatory requirements as other health care facilities; a law that allows pharmacies to dispense biological products; a law expanding coverage for substance abuse treatment, and a law laying down tougher penalties for animal abuse that leads to death.
During the 2015 session, Representative Serpa’s proposal to eliminate the business fuel and electricity tax was included in the state budget. She also sponsored a law that provides coverage for seven days of residential or inpatient services for opioid treatment to be included within the appropriate classification. She also introduced legislation that authorizes pharmacists to perform limited function clinical laboratory tests. Representative Serpa also sponsored a bill that increases the time convicted murderers must serve of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.
In 2014, the General Assembly passed a bill she sponsored, requiring insurers to provide coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders under the same terms and conditions as coverage provided for other illnesses and diseases.
She also sponsored laws regulating the use of epinephrine auto-injectors to treat allergic reactions, increasing penalties for texting while driving, protecting the physical well-being of animals, and making changes to teacher tenure laws in order to give educators the opportunity to gain administrative experience with an unpaid leave option.
Representative Serpa spent six years on the West Warwick School Committee from 2000 to 2006. She is an associate member of the West Warwick Democratic Town Committee and is involved with the Sons of Italy, Vince Lombardi Lodge, Defenders of Animals and the West Warwick Lions Club.
A retired public school educator and admissions officer, she holds a master’s degree in education from Providence College after earning her bachelor’s degree in the same study at Mount St. Joseph College. She lives in West Warwick.
194 Kimberly Lane
West Warwick, RI 02893