William W. O'Brien (D) has served the residents of North Providence in
District 54 since first being elected in November 2012. He was named a
Deputy Majority Leader in April 2014. Representative O'Brien is a member
of the House Finance Committee and chairs its Environment/Transportation
Subcommittee. He also serves as the first vice chair of both the House
Corporations Committee and the House Rules Committee and is a member of
the Permanent Joint Committee on State Lottery.
During the 2023 session, Representative O’Brien introduced a new law which
addresses lead pipes in homes by creating a lead water supply replacement
for both public and private service lines, with a requirement that all
affected lines are replaced within 10 years. He sponsored another new law
will help address the current shortage of educators in Rhode Island
schools by temporarily removing the limit on the number of days that retired
teachers, administrators and staff members can return to work as substitute
employees during any school year. He also reintroduced legislation which
mandate the arming of campus police officers at the state’s public colleges.
In 2022, Representative O’Brien introduced legislation, which
was signed into law, establishing a
procedure for the owner or guardian of an animal in the custody of the
Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA)
to pay reasonable expenses for the animal’s care, including shelter and
food. He also sponsored a new
law which provides consumer protection for eye care services and
another new law which amends
the Right to Read Act by
extending the time table of the legislation by two academic years due to
the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of Rep. O’Brien’s areas of focus has been on improving the quality and
affordability of public education. His legislation that created dual
enrollment programs at
Rhode Island schools enables students to enroll at a college or university
as non-degree students and have the courses be recognized toward degree
completion at both the college and high school levels.
Born on July 27, 1969, he is a 1987 graduate with honors from North
Providence High School and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree
in mathematics from Rhode Island College in 1991. He later studied at
Providence College, the University of Rhode Island, and Florida
Representative O’Brien is a math teacher in the Providence public school
system. He served in the Peace Corps in South Africa from 1998 to 2000
and was a North Providence Jets youth football coach for 12 years. He is
engaged to Jacqueline Celeste.