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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Several Picard bills enacted to boost small business
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Roger A. Picard was the sponsor of several bills enacted this year to assist small businesses.
One of his successful bills (
) authorizes the state to seek a federal waiver under the Affordable Care Act to allow sole proprietors and the self-employed to purchase their health insurance in the small group market instead of the individual market, if they choose. This was allowed until a change in federal law in 2016, and some self-employed individuals preferred the plans available in the group market to those in the individual market.
Two of his other bills that passed into law this year are both aimed at assisting truck drivers. The first (
) allowed applicants for a commercial driver’s license to electronically submit the required medical certificate to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The portal on the DMV’s website allowing electronic submission of the certificate was launched in July. The other bill (
) indemnifies truck drivers from being named in lawsuits about damage to the items in their truck if the damage was a result of loading performed by a third party.
Another bill he sponsored (
) reduced the alcoholic beverage manufacturing and wholesale licensing fee by nearly 85 percent from $3,000 to $500.
Senator Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland), who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, also supported numerous other legislative initiatives aimed at making it easier for small businesses to thrive in Rhode Island.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Our economy depends on their success, just like the families of small business owners do. The more we can clear red tape and eliminate needless hurdles and costs for them, the stronger our communities will be,” said Senator Picard.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request