Marvin L. Abney (D) has
served the residents of Newport and Middletown in District 73 since first being
elected in November 2012. In May 2016, he was named chairman of the House Finance Committee, which is tasked with adopting the annual state budget. He also serves on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the House Committee on Conduct, and the Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning.
During the 2022 legislative session, Chairman Abney was the primary sponsor of the FY 2023 state budget, which funded multiple initiatives to help and support Rhode Island's children and their families.
The approved FY 2023 budget fully funds the state's education formula, increasing the total by $17 million over the current level, and includes a commitment to nearly double the number of voluntary, free high-quality pre-kindergarten seats. It also includes a child tax rebate of $250 per child, for up to three children per family, which is expected to provide $43.8 million in relief for 190,000 Rhode Island tax filers. The budget also increased the rates the state pays for child care services and expanded eligibility for those services. Those earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level will now qualify, and participants can earn up to 300 percent before losing eligibility.
Chairman Abney helped craft the FY 2023 budget, which was designed to help all Rhode Islanders with a responsible focus on protecting taxpayers from possible future deficits while supporting the vital services residents rely upon and need.
He serves on the National Conference of State Legislators' (NCSL) Executive Committee and is co-chair of the NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation. He is a member of the Council of State Governments' (CSG) National Leadership Team and a member of the CSG Eastern Region Executive Committee. In addition, Chairman Abney served as a member of the 2012 Electoral College.
Chairman Abney is a retired
Major of the United States Army after a 20-year Army career, including a tour of duty as a detachment commander at NATO Headquarters with responsibilities in Belgium; The American Embassy, Paris, France; and the Netherlands. He also retired from
the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he
held the position of executive assistant to the commissioner. He taught general business courses at City Colleges of Chicago, European Division.
Born on November 10, 1949, he
attended Dunbar High School in Texarkana, Texas, and in 2018 was honored by the
Texarkana Independent School District as a Distinguished Alumnus.
He earned his bachelor’s
degree in public administration at Stephen F. Austin State University in 1975,
a master’s of management degree from Webster University in 1982, a master’s of
business administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2000, and a
certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership from Johnson
& Wales University in 2005. He also attended the Command and General Staff
College in Munich, Germany in the late 1980s.
Representative Abney has a long history of involvement in community organizations and boards, such as the Board of Governors, Newport Health Care Corporation; Board of Directors, Redwood Library and Athenaeum; the Newport Zoning Board of Review; Salve Regina University’s Internal Review Board; the Martin Luther King Jr. Center; Board of Corporators, BankNewport; and Newport County YWCA.
He lives in Newport with
his wife, Cheryl Lynn (Amado). He is the father of Marvin L. Abney II, U.S.
Army (P) Capt. Christian A. Abney and Tess A. Abney. He is the grandfather of five:
Sierra, Jade, Mia, Dakota, and Bleu. He is a four-time finisher of the New York City Marathon and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.