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 and the second vice chair of the House Conduct Committee. She is also a member of the House Labor Committee and the House Oversight Committee.
In 2021, she 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.
In 2016, Representative Fellela worked in conjunction with the governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force to craft legislation aimed at addressing the opioid overdose crisis. She introduced legislation improve the usefulness and value of the prescription drug monitoring database program by adding analytical functions, and allowing pharmacists to see all prescriptions for a patient. The new law helps detect abhorrent prescribing and dispensing patterns.
Representative Fellela 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 Department.
She was born Novovember 16, 1956. She has four children: Henry III, Matthew, Kyle and Ally; and three grandchildren: Mia, Elvis and Franco.