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House of Representatives mourns former State Rep. Raymond Johnston of Pawtucket
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives is mourning one of its former members, Rep. Raymond H. Johnston Jr. of Pawtucket, who died at home this morning at the age of 61.

St. Cecilia School cheerleaders collect coats for Senate drive
The cheerleading squad of St. Cecilia School in Pawtucket delivered some warmth as well as cheer at the State House Wednesday, dropping off a load of coats they collected for the Senate Coat Drive.

Property tax exemption to veterans who served during the Cold War signed into law
Governor Dan McKee, joined by Representative Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson and Senator James A. Seveney, today signed into law legislation (2021-H 57852021-S 0982) which will extend property tax exemptions to veterans who served in uniform during the Cold War, between 1947 through 1991, even if they did not serve in a declared war or conflict.

Rep. Abney elected to serve on National Conference of State Legislators’ Executive Committee
Lawmakers from around the country last week elected Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) to serve on the 2021-2022 NCSL Executive Committee at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 2021 Legislative Summit in Tampa, Fla.

Speaker Pro Tempore Kennedy elected Vice President of NCSL
Rhode Island Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) has been elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and legislative staff.

Rep. Serpa calls for Department of Education to share teacher discipline info with private schools
Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, is calling on the Department of Education to review its policy on sharing information on the discipline of teachers with other schools, both public and private, in the state.

General Assembly launches ARPA fund recommendation webpage to promote transparency
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly has launched an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fiscal Recovery Fund Recommendation Portal on its website.

To maximize transparency, the General Assembly is committed to posting all ideas and proposals received regarding use of ARPA funds for public availability. This page will serve as a public, digital repository and is available for public review.
Valverde, Caldwell join students, advocates to light the State House red for dyslexia awareness
Sen. Bridget Valverde and Rep. Justine Caldwell were joined by Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island and students from the Hamilton School at Wheeler in Providence Friday to light the State House dome red to mark World Dyslexia Awareness Month.

College tuition bill signed into law
STATE HOUSE — Governor Dan McKee, joined by Sen. Sandra Cano and Rep. Grace Diaz, today signed into law legislation (2021-S 9902021-H 5238) which will ensure in-state tuition for Rhode Island students regardless of immigration status.

Legislation authorizing Central Falls to construct new schools signed into law
Governor Dan McKee, joined by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera, Senator Jonathon Acosta, Representative Joshua J. Giraldo and members of the Central Falls school community, ceremonially signed legislation today that authorizes the City of Central Falls to build and repair schools throughout the city.

Legislation to reclassify certain drug possession charges signed into law
Governor Dan McKee, joined by Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey, Rep. Scott A. Slater and community advocates ceremonially signed legislation today that amends the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to reclassify simple possession of 10 grams or less of certain controlled substances as a misdemeanor charge, punishable up to two years, rather than a felony.

Health bills signed into law
Sen. Joshua Miller, Rep. John Edwards, Rep. Stephen Casey and Rep. Deborah Fellela today joined Gov. Daniel McKee as he signed their health-related bills into law.

New law establishes civics proficiency as a graduation requirement for public schools
Sen. Hanna M. Gallo and Rep. Brian C. Newberry joined Gov. Daniel McKee yesterday as he ceremonially signed into law legislation (2021-S 0076Aaa2021-H 5028Aaa) making civics proficiency a requirement for all public high school graduates. The bill signing took place at Daniel D. Waterman Elementary School in Cranston.

Bill signed to compensate those who were falsely convicted
Rep. Patricia A. Serpa and Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne joined Gov. Daniel McKee Thursday as he ceremonially signed their legislation to compensate innocent people who spent time behind bars but were then released after new evidence proves they were not guilty.

New law requires 911 system to have over-the-phone CPR operators on staff
 A new law introduced by House Deputy Majority Whip Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and signed by the governor today will improve over-the-phone CPR instructions by requiring the 911 system to certify and staff individuals trained in telecommunicator CPR.

Governor McKee signs legislation to protect families with parents who have disabilities
Governor Dan McKee, joined by Senator Louis P. DiPalma and Representative Terri Cortvriend, today held a ceremonial signing for legislation that precludes the disability of a parent from serving as a basis for denial or restriction in matters involving a child's welfare, foster care, family law, guardianship and adoption.

Governor McKee signs legislation to raise sales limits for breweries and distilleries
Governor Dan McKee, joined by Sen. Melissa A. Murray and Rep. Justine A. Caldwell, held a ceremonial bill-signing for legislation that raises the sales limits for beer and spirits at breweries and distilleries across Rhode Island.

Reapportionment Commission to begin work on Sept. 9
The Special Commission on Reapportionment will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. in Room 313 of the State House.

Prescription drug affordability bills signed into law
Governor Dan McKee, joined by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and bill sponsors Senator Melissa A. Murray, Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy, Senator Walter S. Felag, Representative Leonela Felix, and AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor today held a ceremonial signing for two pieces of legislation that make prescription drugs more affordable for Rhode Islanders.

Legislation supporting Rhode Island's seniors signed into law
Legislation introduced by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon and Rep. Jason Knight that supports the state’s aging population was ceremoniously signed into law today by Gov. Dan McKee.  

Legislation to support local restaurants signed into law
House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Representative Jacquelyn Baginski, Senator Hanna Gallo, Representative Robert Craven and Senator Frank Lombardi joined Gov. Daniel McKee today as he ceremonially signed into law two pieces of legislation to support local restaurants.

Commission appointed to study CRMC reorganization
House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi today announced the members appointed to serve on a special House commission to study the Coastal Resources Management Council.

House Speaker, Senate President appoint panel for General Assembly, congressional district reapportionment
Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) have announced their appointments of members of the state’s special reapportionment commission.

Doula bill becomes law
Legislation will ensure doula services are eligible for reimbursement through private insurance plans

House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell and Senator Ana Quezada joined Gov. Dan Mckee today for a ceremonial bill signing for legislation (2021-H 5929A2021-S 0484A) that will make doula services eligible for reimbursement through private insurance plans.

Bill restricting new high-heat medical waste facilities signed
 Rep. Justine A. Caldwell and Sen. Bridget G. Valverde joined Gov. Daniel McKee today as he ceremonially signed their bill prohibiting new medical waste incinerators near residential neighborhoods, schools, nursing facilities and delicate environmental areas.

New law eases adoptees’ access to original birth certificates
A new law sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin and House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian will help adoptees access their original birth certificates when they reach adulthood.

Newly signed laws protect women's equity and health
Representatives Justine A. Caldwell, Susan Donovan, Carol Hagan McEntee, and Katherine S. Kazarian; Senators Gayle Goldin, Valarie J. Lawson, and V. Susan Sosnowski; and House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi; Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio joined Gov. Dan. McKee and women's advocates and organizations today for the ceremonial signing of multiple pieces of legislation that will support women's health and equity in Rhode Island.