Cynthia Armour Coyne is a Democrat representing District 32 (Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) in the Rhode Island Senate.
First elected to the Senate in November 2014, Sen. Coyne previously spent a four-year term as a member of the Barrington Town Council. She served as the council's liaison to the town's Senior Services Advisory Board, United Veteran's Council, School Committee and Juvenile Hearing Board, as well as the Bristol County Water Authority.
During her time in the legislature, Sen. Coyne has advanced legislation on a number of priorities, including public health, criminal justice and issues facing senior citizens.
She sponsored legislation, which has since been signed into law, to increase the state's tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21. She has also sponsored legislation to outlaw untraceable “ghost guns"; require public reporting of any child deaths in state care; provide compensation for innocent people who spend time in prison before being exonerated; strengthen financial exploitation protections for seniors; and authorize municipalities to offer tax credits to property owners age 60 and older. Additionally, she has advanced legislation to strengthen the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.
Sen. Coyne received an AARP Capitol Caregiver Award for her support of legislation requiring criminal background checks for people seeking appointment as a limited guardian of an adult. She has also been honored by the Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families for her sponsorship of legislation to protect children.
Born on Nov. 8, 1961, Sen. Coyne was born and raised in Pawtucket. She is a lifelong Rhode Islander and a longtime resident of the East Bay. She and her husband, Jerry, have four children, Katie, Patrick, Ian and Meghan.
She graduated from Saint Raphael Academy in 1979 and received an athletic scholarship for swimming from the University of Rhode Island, from which she graduated in 1983 with a B.A. in political science and economics. She earned a B.S. in administration of justice from Roger Williams University in 1989. In 1994, she was inducted into the Rhode Island Swimming Hall of Fame.
From 1985 to 2006, Sen. Coyne served as a trooper with the Rhode Island State Police, rising to the rank of lieutenant. In 1990, she graduated from the FBI National Academy.
After retiring from the State Police, Sen. Coyne worked as a consultant and served as a certified assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA. From 2013 to 2015, she worked as an administrative supervisor with Johnson & Wales University's Department of Campus Safety and Security. From 2016 through 2020, she served as a commissioner of CALEA. In 2021, she was appointed chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary.