Valarie J. Lawson is a Democrat representing District 14 (East Providence) in the Rhode Island Senate.
First elected to the Senate in November 2018, Sen. Lawson has been an active voice on a range of issues, including education, public health, protections for senior citizens, and the East Providence community.
She was the Senate sponsor of the Senior Savings Protection Act, a law that requires enhanced reporting of suspected financial exploitation of people over 60 or those 18 to 59 with a disability.
She was part of a group of legislators who sponsored new laws focused on women's equity and health, and she sponsored a law requiring public schools to provide feminine hygiene products at no cost. She also sponsored a law requiring that private and public schools maintain the opioid overdose antidote Narcan on site.
Bills sponsored by Sen. Lawson and signed into law have also added East Providence to the Blackstone Valley tourism district, provided a personal income tax exemption for writers, composers and artists residing within the East Providence art district, increased temporary caregiver benefits for families, and exempted those with chronic intractable pain from restrictions on opioid prescriptions.
She has advanced legislation to eliminate the sales tax for face masks, create a Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund to assist local families, and urge the state to assist East Providence with the costs of acquiring Metacomet Golf Course. She has also proposed using a portion of the state's federal pandemic aid for the introduction of a Retail SNAP Incentive Program to address food insecurity in Rhode Island.
Sen. Lawson is a lifelong East Providence resident.
She earned both a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree from Rhode Island College. She is a Social Studies teacher at East Providence High School and Vice President of the National Education Association Rhode Island. In addition, she is the former President of the East Providence Education Association.