Samuel A. Azzinaro (D) has served the residents of District 37 in Westerly since first being elected in November 2008. He is the chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and also serves as a member of the House Health and Human Services Committee, the House Rules Committee and the House Special Legislation Committee.
In 2022, Chairman Azzinaro’s bill which makes
“stolen valor” a crime
was signed into law. The law makes it a
crime to fraudulently represent oneself as an active or veteran member of the
military or armed forces for the purpose of obtaining money, property, or other
tangible benefits. He was also
responsible for the inclusion of funding for a mobile
Division of Motor Vehicles unit within the FY 2023 state budget to serve the town of Westerly.
Chairman Azzinaro was honored by Disabled American Veterans for his “diligent work and dedication to veterans of the Ocean State”
and his advocacy to “ensure the promises made to the men and women who served
and sacrificed are kept.”
During the 2021 legislative
session, Chairman Azzinaro continued to focus on the health and well-being of
Rhode Island’s veterans. He sponsored a new law allowing the director of
Veterans' Services to appoint an administrator for the RI Veterans’ Home who is
an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces. He was also
the sponsor of another new law which allows business vehicles which are owned
by a veteran entity, and are registered and authorized to conduct business in
the state of Rhode Island, to register such business vehicles with veteran
He chaired a commission
which led to the 2020 dedication and unveiling of a new memorial to the nine
Rhode Island Marines who were killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing attack. The
memorial is located along the Providence River.
He was also instrumental in
creating the Westerly Higher Education and Job Skills Center. He helped to
develop the concept for the center, obtain the funding, and secured
partnerships with colleges and businesses, which is training individuals in
high skilled manufacturing jobs.
previously served for 12 years on the Westerly Town Council, including four
years as its President.
He served in the National
Guard for four years and was a member of the Army Reserve for four years,
including two years of active duty. He was a Staff Sergeant E6.
Representative Azzinaro was
born on January 29, 1943. The father of five is a retired textile worker,
business owner and carpenter, and resides in Westerly with his wife, Carol.
They are the parents of five children: Tami Algiere, Amy Azzinaro, Lori
Gulluscio, Samuel J. Azzinaro and Mary
Azzinaro-Banks, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.