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 second vice chair of the House Conduct Committee and is a member of the
House Labor Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the House Veterans’
During the most recent legislative session, 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, she 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
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 and 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 Nov. 16, 1956. She has four children: Henry III, Matthew, Kyle
and Ally; and three grandchildren: Mia, Elvis and Franco.