Representative Deborah Ruggiero (D) has served the residents of Jamestown and
Middletown in District 74 since first being elected in November 2008. She is the
chair of the House Innovation, Internet and Technology Committee and is a member
of the House Finance Committee and the House Special Legislation Committee.
Representative Ruggiero has
championed legislation assisting the agricultural and seafood communities,
improving home care patient rights, expanding renewable energy opportunities
and supporting economic development at Rhode Island’s ports. She co-chaired the
Port Facilities Study Commission, which developed several
recommendations to help the state’s economy. She is the chairperson of a
legislation commission that is studying possible reorganization of the Coastal
Resources Management Council as a result of legislation she sponsored in 2021.
As chairperson of the Small
Business Renewable Energy Commission,
she helped enact several comprehensive renewable energy laws to help reduce
dependency on fossil fuels. She has been a leader in sponsoring numerous
renewable energy laws, including several encouraging distributed generation
that promote good economic and environmental policy. She sponsored the
legislation creating the Renewable
Energy Growth Program, as well as subsequent
bills extending and expanding the successful program to spur development
of small-scale renewable energy projects. In 2019, she sponsored a new law to encourage Rhode Island businesses
to adopt stronger environmental standards
on sustainability. In 2021, she sponsored a
new law that will phase in significantly higher percentages of cleaner-burning biodiesel in home heating oil sold in the state.
She co-chaired the task
force that studied the nexus of
mental health laws and gun rights following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting
and sponsored the resulting law requiring Rhode Island to submit more data to
the national database used to screen
She was the sponsor of the Safe
Schools Act, Rhode Island’s anti-bullying
law. She also sponsored legislation to remove regulations on small businesses.
She was honored by the
Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) with its 2017 Legislative
Partner Award, and by the Groden Center
with its Advocacy
Award. The Rhode Island State
Nurses Association named her 2012
Legislator of the Year for her approach to health
care issues. In 2011, the YWCA Northern Rhode Island recognized her as “a rising
Aside from her legislative duties, she is president of DR Communications
Group, an advertising and marketing company. The native Rhode Islander is the
creator and host of the award-winning radio show, “Amazing Women,” which
highlights Rhode Island women who make a difference. She is also a member of
Save the Bay and Jamestown Rotary.
She was born on April 2, 1958. A resident of Jamestown, she holds a
bachelor’s degree from Boston College and is finishing her master’s in public
administration/policy at Clark University. She’s an avid golfer and tennis player, and loves to cook and garden.