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D - District 51
Woonsocket, Cumberland
(401) 762-2010
325 Dunlap Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895

Representative Robert D. Phillips

Deputy Majority Leader

First Vice Chair, House Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Member, House Corporations Committee

Member, House Education Committee

Member, House Rules Committee

Member, House Small Business Committee


Robert D. Phillips (D) represents District 51 in Woonsocket and Cumberland. First elected in November 2010, Representative Phillips was named a Deputy Majority Leader in January 2019. He is the first vice chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee and is member of the House Corporations Committee, the House Education Committee, the House Rules Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

During the 2023 session, he introduced a resolution to create a special commission to study the feasibility of placing solar panels on Rhode Island’s Interstate highways. He was later named chairman of the commission.

In 2021, Representative Phillips took part in a conference on redistricting run by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the wake of that conference, he was appointed co-chairman of the Special Commission on Reapportionment and submitted the legislation that altered the state's district boundaries. The state constitution calls for the General Assembly to reapportion its districts as well as the two congressional districts after each 10-year federal census.

Representative Phillips sponsored successful legislation in 2018 that makes the Division of Motor Vehicles more efficient while also making life easier for commercial truck drivers. The first law permits the use of an electronic means of transmission of the medical certificate required for the issuance of a commercial driver’s license. The second law eliminates the requirement of examinations for a renewal applicant whose commercial driver's license has expired for more than one year.

In 2017, he introduced an education reform law that establishes a process by which a virtual education plan may be established and used by school districts during inclement weather which would count as a school day.

Representative Phillips cosponsored laws making adjustments to the medical marijuana program to further ensure public safety, protecting employee wages, and supporting the arts in 2014. In 2012, he cosponsored a law prohibiting retailers of essential commodities from engaging in price gouging during a market emergency.

Representative Phillips is the former chairman of the Autumnfest Steering Committee, and in 2023 he and his wife Nancy were named the co-grand marshals of the Autumnfest Parade.  He was also a past chair of the Milk Fund, a charity which provides milk and other dairy products to Greater Woonsocket families in need. He is member of the St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital’s Woonsocket Committee, and is the past president of the Woonsocket Jaycees. He previously served on the Tax Assessors Board of Review.

A substitute teacher in Woonsocket, Representative Phillips earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2005.

He was born on May 29, 1956. He and his wife, Nancy, are the parents of twin sons, Matthew and Timothy, and have two grandchildren, Devin and Skylar.