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Representative David A. Bennett
D - District 20
Cranston, Warwick
(401) 480-4647
27 Shippee Avenue
Warwick, RI 02886

Representative David A. Bennett

Chair, House Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

Member, House Judiciary Committee

David A. Bennett has served District 20 in Warwick since first being elected in November 2010. A psychiatric nurse, Representative Bennett is the chairman of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and is a member of the House Health and Human Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Quahog Joint Legislative Commission

As a psychiatric nurse, he has been very active on health care and addiction issues, serving as co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Commission to Study the Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health and sponsoring many bills related to health. In 2023, he lead the charge on tackling the state’s short staffing crisis by raising wages for group home and nursing home workers and incentivizing employers to hire full-time nurses over travel nurses. In recent years, he has successfully passed legislation enhancing the requirements that people with knowledge of mistreatment or neglect of elders report it to authorities, ensuring antitrust law compliance in hospital conversions, and creating an exemption in regulations about FDA-regulated substances so students can have and use sunscreen at school.

As an avid outdoorsman and chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Representative Bennett has contributed greatly to the protection of the state’s environment. In 2023, he sponsored a law banning Styrofoam at restaurants and has pushed legislation to limit plastic waste and litter. His work as chairman has also contributed to laws like the Act on Climate and the state’s clean energy standard which are helping create jobs, stabilize energy costs and reduce pollution. He won the 2023 Clean Water Legislator of the Year Award from the Rhode Island Clean Water Association.

He has been a strong and successful proponent for raising Rhode Island’s minimum wage. In 2012, he sponsored legislation that increased the minimum wage for the first time since 2007, from $7.40 an hour to $7.75. He has been the sponsor of every subsequent raise, including the legislation enacted in 2021 to raise the raise from $11.50 to $12.25 in 2022 and raise it annually until it reaches $15 on January 1, 2025.

He was the architect of Rhode Island’s law requiring automated external defibrillators at public places that hold 300 or more people. He has sponsored numerous successful initiatives aimed at addressing the opioid crisis, including the law requiring all high schools and middle schools to have an opioid antagonist kit (Narcan) to prevent overdose deaths, and several others aimed increasing oversight of prescription drugs, making opioid antagonists more readily available and ensuring follow-up care for overdose patients.

In 2022, he sponsored “Nero’s Law,” which was enacted to allow EMTs to provide emergency care and transportation to police dogs injured in the line of duty.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network honored Representative Bennett in 2019 for his longtime support for its initiatives and for going public with his efforts to quit smoking.

A graduate of Toll Gate High School, the Community College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, he is a member of the American Nurses Association, Rhode Island Nurses Association, the Sierra Club, the Rhode Island Motorcycle Association and Apponaug Old Timers.

Representative Bennett was born on April 8, 1955. He resides in Warwick with his wife Ann and their dogs Wolf and Snowman. ​