José F. Batista (D) was elected on Nov. 3, 2020, to represent the people of District 12 in Providence's South Side and Washington Park neighborhoods. He serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee.
In his first year in office in 2021, Representative
Batista introduced landmark legislation to fundamentally reform
the criminal justice system in Rhode Island, including bills to
reform policing, decriminalize the possession of drugs and begin to undo
policies that have helped cause the current and national mass incarceration
Two of Representative Batista’s bills that were
enacted in 2021 include a new law establishing a statewide program for police
body cameras and a bill that helps ensure workers in the
construction industry have access to paid
Born April 15, 1988, and a life-long resident of South Providence,
Representative Batista is the oldest of six children of immigrants from the
Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He attended Providence Public Schools
from K-12 and graduated from Classical High School in 2006, Bryant
University in 2011 and Roger Williams University School of Law in 2014.
Representative Batista began his legal career at the Rhode Island Public
Defender where he represented thousands of indigent Rhode Islanders before
opening a solo law practice in South Providence in 2016 where he continues
to serve the community.
In 2021, Representative Batista enrolled as a member of the Rho II class of Leadership Rhode Island and accepted a position as assistant city solicitor in the City of Central Falls Law Department.