Hanna M. Gallo is a Democrat representing District 27 (Cranston, West Warwick) in the Rhode Island Senate.
Sen. Gallo was first elected to the Senate in November 1998. She was elected Senate President Pro Tempore by her Senate colleagues on Jan. 5, 2021, which requires her to preside over the Senate in the absence of the president.
Sen. Gallo has been a longtime champion of quality public education in Rhode Island. She has sponsored legislation to increase funding to schools and to establish full-day kindergarten. As longtime chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education, in 2010 she sponsored the bill which established the first education funding formula Rhode Island had in 15 years. She was the Senate sponsor of a recent law making civics proficiency a requirement for Rhode Island public high school graduates.
In addition, she has been instrumental in bills to cut government red tape to allow businesses to operate more efficiently, thereby enabling them to grow their workforces. She has also been active in efforts to improve workforce development programs so all Rhode Islanders have access to quality, good-paying jobs. In response to the pandemic, she sponsored a recently adopted law allowing restaurants to continue selling alcohol with to-go orders.
She was the Senate sponsor of bills, now laws, requiring insurance coverage for mastectomies; strengthening penalties for dealers who sell fatal drug doses, known as Kristen's Law; updating the definition of “dating violence" while requiring school districts to create reporting and response policies; and updating the state's sex offender registration and community notification rules.
Sen. Gallo was honored as the Rhode Island Library Association's Senator of the Year in 2014 and received the Paul W. Crowley Award from the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association in 2020. In 2017, she was named grand marshal of the 58th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Pawtuxet Valley.
A lifelong Rhode Islander, Sen. Gallo was born Nov. 21, 1956. She and her husband, Russell, have two daughters, Julie and Laura.
A 1974 graduate of St. Mary's Visitation High School, she earned a degree in liberal arts from the Community College of Rhode Island in 1976 and then a business degree from CCRI in 1981. She later earned a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Rhode Island in 1995, and a Master of Science in Speech Language in 1997, also from the University of Rhode Island. She works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Cranston School Department.