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 2021 legislative
session, Representative Abney was the primary sponsor of the FY
2022 state budget. The budget included historic investments in
affordable housing, supports to sustain Rhode Island’s COVID‐19 response and recovery, funding to support child care providers,
support for low-income families and the Department of Children, Youth and
Families, and funding to protect Rhode Island’s natural resources.
Representative Abney was
to serve on the National Conference
of State Legislators’ Executive Committee.
In the 2020 legislative
session, he sponsored legislation, which became law, which amends the current
motion pictures tax credit program. It allows
productions to utilize tax credits, even if the majority of production is not
done within the state, if the production spends a minimum of $10 million within
Rhode Island during a 12-month span.
Chairman Abney is a retired
Major of the United States Army after a 20-year Army career, including a stint
as the company commander at NATO Headquarters in Belgium. He also retired from
the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he
held the position of executive assistant to the commissioner.
Born on Nov. 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.
In addition to his duties
as a legislator, Representative Abney also serves on the Board of Governors for
the Newport Health Care Corporation, the Board of Corporators for BankNewport,
the Vestry & Finance Committee at St. John’s Church and the Executive Board
for the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council.
Representative Abney has a long history of involvement in community organizations and boards, including the Newport Zoning Board of Review, Coggeshall Elementary School Improvement Committee, Salve Regina University’s Internal Review Board, First Night Newport and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, among others.
He lives in Newport with
his wife, Cheryl Lynn (Amado). He is the father of Marvin L. Abney II, U.S.
Army Capt. Christian A. Abney and Tess A. Abney. He is the grandfather of four:
Sierra, Jade, Mia and Dakota.