Roger A. Picard is a Democrat representing District 20 (Woonsocket, Cumberland) in the Rhode Island Senate.
Prior to his election to the Senate in an April 2008 special election, he served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1993 to 2008. In 2021, he was elected Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore.
In 2008, Sen. Picard sponsored legislation amending the Hospital Conversion Act. He has sponsored several bills to boost small businesses, including legislation on health care for sole proprietors and self-employed people; legislation aimed at assisting truck drivers and streamlining the commercial driver's license process; and a bill significantly lowering the manufacturing and wholesale licensing fee for alcohol manufacturers.
In terms of education, he has sponsored legislation allowing school districts to conduct virtual instruction during inclement weather and emergencies, and introduced a bill to allow students to make up lost school days through at-home learning. He also sought a statewide ballot vote on a constitutional amendment to guarantee “an equitable, adequate and meaningful education to each child" and sponsored a law requiring the creation of pathways and workforce training programs in the clean-energy sector, part of the Senate's Grow Green Jobs RI initiative.
Other legislation sponsored by Sen. Picard includes a law requiring insurance companies to make a good faith effort to locate the beneficiaries of life insurance policies; a measure encouraging middle and secondary schools to offer performing arts programs; a law authorizing an alternative treatment for opioid addiction; and a proposal to have the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket.
Sen. Picard was honored by Rhode Island AARP with its 2016 Capitol Caregivers award, recognizing his sponsorship of a law that allows single-family homeowners to construct or use accessory dwellings to care for older family members.
Sen. Picard was born on Jan. 26, 1957. He and his wife, Diane, have three children, Nicole, Kristen and Caitlyn.
He is a graduate of Woonsocket High School, 1975; University of Rhode Island, B.A./B.S., 1979; and Rhode Island College, MSW, 1995. He also holds a master's in theological studies from Providence College. He works as a social worker for the Woonsocket School Department.