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 2023 legislative session, Chairman Abney was the
primary sponsor of the $14 billion 2024 fiscal year budget that
commits funding toward addressing the housing crisis, supports business
development and makes education funding more equitable, while limiting
the use of one-time revenue to one-time expenditures.
introduced a new law which would increase the percentage set aside
for affordable units in qualifying projects, and, in turn, increase the
number of allowable units per acre for all housing projects subject to
on the National Conference of State Legislators' (NCSL) Foundation
Board of Directors. 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 Major (P) 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.