Charlene M. Lima (D) represents District 14 in Cranston and Providence. First elected in November 1992, Representative Lima serves as the Deputy Speaker and is a member of the House Corporations Committee, the House Innovation, Internet and Technology Committee, the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee and the House Oversight Committee.
During the 2021 session, Deputy Speaker Lima sponsored the new law that strengthens the Deceptive Trade Practices Act by restoring the power of the attorney general to step in and enforce violations of the act. Previous court interpretations of the old legislation exempted almost all businesses and transactions from the reach of the statute, and tied the attorney general's hands when it came to helping consumers. She also sponsored legislation which reduces procedural delays that could hold up the permitting process for development.
In 2020, she sponsored
legislation which would provide that any person 18 years of age who is issued a
license may carry a stun gun. It also adds "tasers" to the definition
of "firearm" and provides for an appeal process for denial of an
application for a permit. She also sponsored a bill that creates a custody
procedure for pets in divorce and separation proceedings based on the best
interests of the animal and would not apply to assistance/service animals.
Deputy Speaker Lima has a
long history of public service. In the past, she has served on the Rhode Island
Attorney General’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, the Secretary of the State
Panel for Election Law Reform, and the District Representative Committee.
A retired educator, she
taught for the Providence School Department and was also a member of the
American Federation of Teachers and the Providence Teacher’s Union. She has
also been involved with the Rhode Island Society to Prevent Blindness and the
Women’s Auxiliary of the St. Mary’s Feast Society.
Deputy Speaker Lima was
born on August 18, 1953, and is married to Frank Fiorenzano. She earned a
bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1975, following her
graduation from Classical High School in Providence in 1971.