Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
D - District 70
(401) 662-6280
69 South Avenue
Tiverton, RI 02878

Representative John G. Edwards

Majority Floor Manager

Member, House Finance Committee

Member, House Labor Committee​

Member, House Municipal Government and Housing Committee
​Member, Permanent Joint Committee on State Lottery

John G. “Jay” Edwards (D) represents District 70 in Portsmouth and Tiverton. First elected in November 2008, he has served as both the House Majority Whip and the Senior Deputy Majority Leader before being named the Majority Floor Manager in January 2021. He is a member of the House Finance Committee, the House Labor Committee, the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee, and the House Oversight Committee.

During the 2023 session, he sponsored a new law that protects organ donors by prohibiting insurers from denying life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care disability insurance solely on the basis of the individual’s status as a living donor. He championed another law that keeps motor vehicle inspections within state boundaries by providing that only facilities located within Rhode Island are eligible for permits.

A strong champion of victims’ rights, Representative Edwards sponsored a new law in 2022 that codifies the rights of rape victims by regulating the use of sexual assault evidence kits and enumerating the rights of victims in relation to those kits. In 2023, the law was updated to require the state crime laboratory to conduct an audit of DNA samples in the DNA databank to ascertain the rate of compliance with recording requirements.

A longtime advocate of opioid reform, he sponsored a law in 2021 that authorizes a two-year pilot program to prevent drug overdoses through the establishment of harm reduction centers, which are a community-based resource for health screening, disease prevention and recovery assistance where persons may safely consume pre-obtained substances. This year, the program was extended for two more years by the General Assembly. In 2022, he was also appointed to the newly formed Opioid Settlement Agreement Advisory Committee, which is tasked with recommending how to utilize funds from several settlements with opioid manufacturers amounting to $185 million.

During the 2021 session, he introduced legislation that was signed into law amending the state building code to require that any single-user toilet facility in a public building or place of public accommodation be available for use by persons of any gender.

The National Conference of State Legislatures named him a fellow in its Maternal and Childhood Health program, which is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders on MCH-related issues.

In 2019, Representative Edwards was selected as a 2019 Opioid Policy Fellow for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which focuses on health policies and programs being addressed throughout the country. When he returned, he sponsored a law that allows hospitals to contact the patient’s emergency contact and a certified peer recovery specialist in certain situations. The change improved supports for those hospitalized for drug overdoses and mental health emergencies by increasing the likelihood that their families or others wishing to assist them with treatment are aware of their hospitalization.

Representative Edwards served on the Tiverton Town Council from 2006 to 2008 and the Tiverton Zoning Board from 1996 to 2006. He served as vice chairman of the town’s Elementary School Building Committee from 2004 to 2008 and as chairman of Tiverton’s Landfill Sub-Committee from 2006 to 2008.

An outspoken advocate of blood donation, as well as an active platelet donor, Representative Edwards has donated more than 100 gallons of blood.

A 1983 graduate of Northeastern University, he works as a senior project manager for Site Specific, a Providence construction company. He was the director of Caritas RI, and is​​ a former member of the Rhode Island Builders Association and the former chair of the Rhode Island branch of Associated Builders and Contractors. He has also been involved in the Tiverton Land Trust, Save the Bay, Maine Island Trail Association, the Sierra Club, the Tiverton Democratic Town Committee and the National Eagle Scout Association.

Edwards was born on April 7, 1958. He resides in Tiverton with his wife, Donna. The couple has three children: John, Kelsey and Mae, and two granddaughters, Amelia and Sloan.​​