Deborah A. Fellela (D) represents District 43 in Johnston. First elected
to her seat in November 2006, Representative Fellela is the Senior
Deputy Majority Leader, making her a member of the House Leadership
Team. She is the first vice chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs
Committee, second vice chair of the House Conduct Committee, and is a
member of the House Labor Committee and the House Oversight Committee.
During the 2023 session, she introduced legislation to extend a
pandemic-era policy to allow relatives to be
paid for services to individuals with developmental disabilities,
which was ultimately included in the state budget. A strong advocate for
veterans, she also sponsored a law that removes all state park fees for
Gold Star Families.
In 2021, Representative Fellela sponsored a
law targeting reckless prescription practices, increasing fines to
help ease the opioid epidemic. She also sponsored a new law that makes
it easier for adopted adult children and their birth
parents and siblings to find each other through mutual consent.
During the 2019 session, she cosponsored a child-protection law specifying
the circumstances when the Office of the Child Advocate would investigate
child fatalities. She also cosponsored animal protection legislation that
requires pet trainers to be licensed.
She was previously a member of the School Improvement Team at the Robert
F. Kennedy Elementary School in Providence and a member of the PTO at
Barnes Elementary School in Johnston. She is also a communicant at Our
Lady of Grace Church belonging to the St. Anne’s Sodality, and was a
housing commissioner for the Johnston Housing Authority.
A 1974 graduate of East Providence High School, Representative Fellela
retired in July 2020 after 28 years with the Providence School
She was born November 16, 1956. She has four children: Henry III,
Matthew, Kyle and Ally; and three grandchildren: Mia, Elvis and Franco.