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D - District 54
North Providence
(401) 440-4063
25 Oak Grove Blvd.
North Providence, RI 02911

Representative William W. O’Brien

Deputy Majority Leader

Chair, House Finance Environment/Transportation Subcommittee​

First Vice Chair, House Corporations Committee

First Vice Chair, Hous​e Rules Committee

Member, House Finance Committee


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 the chair 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 program for both public and private service lines, with a requirement that all affected lines are replaced within 10 years. He sponsored another new law that 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 International University.

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.​​