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D - District 74
Jamestown, Middletown
78 Columbia Avenue
Jamestown, RI 02835

Representative Deborah Ruggiero

Chair, House Innovation, Internet and Technology Committee 

Member, House Finance Committee

Member, House Special Legislation Committee

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 Joint 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 gun purchases.

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 political star.”

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.