Senate Bill No. 2424
BY Bell, Quezada, Goldin, Euer, Sheehan
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES - SEXUAL ASSAULT
This bill makes it a crime for the police and other law enforcement officers to have sex with people in their custody. While in custody of an officer of the law, the power dynamic is so skewed that meaningful consent cannot be given.
Senate Bill No. 2668
BY Bell, Quezada, Murray, Nesselbush, Crowley
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TOWNS AND CITIES - ZONING ORDINANCES-NEIGHBORHOOD
We are in the middle of an affordable housing crisis, and one cause of the crisis is a lack of housing supply. Under current laws, any home that is “abandoned” under zoning cannot be rebuilt to its historic density. In other words, if you can’t prove a 3 family home in Mount Pleasant has been consistently occupied, it can be declared abandoned and must be rebuilt or reused as a 2 family. This system cuts needed units from our city, and damages the historic fabric of our neighborhoods. What this bill does is change the zoning so these homes can be rebuilt to their historic use/density, allowing for more units at more affordable prices.
Senate Bill No. 2260
BY Bell, Euer, Murray, Quezada, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY -- RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT
This bill addresses a cruel reality of Rhode Island law. If there are multiple people living in an apartment, and the leaseholder dies, then the remaining residents have no rights to live in the unit and don’t even have eviction protection. The landlord can change the lock the next day. This bill creates a grace period that allows anyone living in the unit already to continue the lease for up to three months. One of Sam’s constituents quit her job to move in with her ailing mother to take care of her, but when her mother tragically passed away, she was left immediately homeless, with no time to find another apartment. If this bill passes, hopefully no one else will be placed in that awful situation again.
Senate Resolution No. 2383
BY Bell, Quezada, Goldin, Euer, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, SENATE RESOLUTION RESPECTFULLY URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION ESTABLISHING AN IMPROVED "MEDICARE FOR ALL" SINGLE PAYER PROGRAM THAT WOULD PROVIDE UNIVERSAL, COMPREHENSIVE AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
This is a resolution to the US Congress in favor of a national Medicare for All program of universal healthcare.
Senate Resolution No. 2385
BY Bell, Quezada, Goldin, Euer, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, SENATE RESOLUTION CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY AND ASSESS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MEDICARE-FOR-ALL SINGLE PAYER PROGRAM IN RHODE ISLAND
This is a legislative commission to study a state-level Medicare for All program in Rhode Island.
Senate Bill No. 2389
BY Bell, Quezada, Goldin, Euer, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM
This program sets up a Medicare for All program for Rhode Island, using the Obamacare waiver application process. Under Obamacare, state Medicare for All can be set up with approval from the White House. Such approval is unrealistic under Trump, but hopefully it will become possible when Trump is defeated in November.
Senate Resolution No. 2370
BY Bell, Euer, Cano, Quezada, Ciccone
ENTITLED, SENATE RESOLUTION RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING THE RHODE ISLAND STATE AUDITOR GENERAL TO CONDUCT OR OVERSEE A STUDY OR AUDIT ON THE PRIVATIZATION OF RHODE ISLAND'S MEDICAID PROGRAMS
Rhode Island’s Medicaid program is privatized. For most Medicaid recipients, you’re on a private insurance plan that Medicaid contracts out to. In 2009, Connecticut did a study of their Medicaid privatization program that concluded that privatization wasted vast amounts of money without delivering better care. As a result of that study, Connecticut decided to deprivatize. This bill proposes a similar audit of Medicaid privatization as a first step on the process of deprivatization.
Senate Bill No. 2741
BY Bell, Quezada, Crowley, Ciccone, Goodwin
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS -- STATEWIDE REFERENDUM
This bill places a billion-dollar bond on the ballot to invest in our municipal roads, pedestrian infrastructure (sidewalks), bike infrastructure, and parks. In Massachusetts and Connecticut, there are state programs to provide aid to cities and towns for their local infrastructure. In Massachusetts, the program is called Chapter 90, and in Connecticut, it is called Town Aid Road. Rhode Island does not currently have a similar program, but this bill would create one.
Senate Bill No. 2351
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- PROPERTY SUBJECT TO TAXATION
This bill abolishes a special tax exemption program that has been used primarily for subsidizing luxury housing with city property tax money. This program is especially unnecessary now that the state has made the municipal TIF program easier to use, allowing Rhode Island municipalities to do more creative subsidies than just direct cash for developers.
Senate Bill No. 2352
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- DEFINITION OF CORPORATE NET INCOME
Removes a special Rhode Island tax break for big-dollar investment in the tax exemption zones set up by the Trump Tax Cuts for the Rich. This exemption was slipped into the state budget in 2019.
Senate Resolution No. 2419
BY Bell, Murray, Goldin, Quezada, Euer
ENTITLED, SENATE RESOLUTION CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY THE IMPACT OF THE TRAUMA INFLICTED ON CHILDREN WHO ARE EXPOSED TO VIOLENCE
This is a Senate companion to Representative Marcia Rangli-Vassel’s special legislative commission to study the impact of childhood trauma. The goal is to support trauma-informed practices in our schools.
Senate Bill No. 2628
BY Bell, Satchell, Lawson, Crowley, Murray
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- HEALTH AND SAFETY OF PUPILS -- TRAUMA INFORMED SCHOOLS ACT
This bill introduces trauma-informed practices into our schools. It is a companion to Representative Ranglin-Vassell’s House bill.
Senate Bill No. 2684
BY Bell, Quezada, Nesselbush, Crowley, Murray
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES - THEFT, EMBEZZLEMENT, FALSE PRETENSES, AND MISAPPROPRIATION
In Rhode Island, there is no minimum dollar value for criminal charges with possible prison time for shoplifting and theft. Sam believes that, while you definitely should not, say, steal a candy bar from a corner store, it shouldn’t ruin your life either. This bill creates a tiered series of punishments for shoplifting and theft based on the value of the items stolen. It starts at community service for very low dollar values and phases into prison time for larger dollar values.
Senate Bill No. 2422
BY Bell, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS - PRIMARIES
This bill removes the infamous “star” from the Rhode Island ballot. In our state, and a few others, the party endorsed candidate in a primary is listed first on the ballot with a star next to their name, and all other candidates are listed in a randomly chosen order. This system creates an unfair advantage for incumbents and takes advantage of less informed voters. When this bill passes, all candidates will be listed in a randomly chosen order.
Senate Bill No. 2536
BY Bell, Quezada, Cano, Crowley, Nesselbush
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- RHODE ISLAND SANCTUARY STATE ACT
Sam’s Sanctuary State bill protects our undocumented neighbors from having the state government report them to ICE for deportation. Undocumented Rhode Islanders should never fear interacting with the state government. We need to do everything we can to protect our undocumented community from Trump’s deportation forces.
Senate Resolution No. 2702
ENTITLED, JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE AND PUBLISH AND SUBMIT TO THE ELECTORS A PROPOSITION OF AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE
Currently, under the Rhode Island Constitution, a public vote is required for the cheapest form of state debt, general obligation bonds, but not the various far more expensive forms of state debt: revenue bonds, moral obligation bonds, privatized bonds, and pension underfunding. As a result, the vast majority of Rhode Island’s debt is in these more expensive forms of debt, especially pension debt. Sam believes that this is backwards. This bill flips which kinds of debt would require voter approval. It would require voter approval for pension debt and other kinds of more expensive bonds but not for cheaper general obligation bonds. Note: Due to a drafting error made by the statehouse lawyers, this bill needs an amendment. Section (b) was supposed to be struck in its entirety, and it was not.
Senate Bill No. 2713
BY Bell, Lombardi, Crowley, Gallo, Murray
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC PROPERTY AND WORKS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS
Currently, formal portraits are commissioned to hang in the statehouse of every former Speaker but not every former Senate President. This bill allows for portraits of the Senate President to be painted as well. As someone who is not a supporter of the current Senate President, Sam believes he is the right person to advocate for this.
Senate Bill No. 2739
BY Bell, Ciccone, Euer, Quezada, Crowley
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION
Currently, Rhode Island and other states often provide massive subsidies to businesses to relocate from other states. What this bill does is create an agreement between different states so that they will not steal businesses from each other through corporate welfare payments. Similar bills have been introduced in other states around the country.
Senate Resolution No. 2743
ENTITLED, JOINT RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE A REFERENDUM TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION FOR BLANKET AUTHORITY FOR THE GENERAL TREASURER TO REFINANCE BONDS
This bill would place an authorization on the ballot to allow the General Treasurer to refinance non-general obligation bonds as general obligation bonds in order to save money.
Senate Bill No. 2168
BY Bell, Murray, Quezada, Nesselbush, Picard
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PARTNERSHIPS -- RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS CORPORATIONS ACT -- NONPROFIT CORPORATION ACT -- LIMITED-LIABILITY COMPANY ACT
This bill eliminates the need for the General Assembly to pass a special law for every corporate charter reinstatement more than 10 years old that has already been vetted by the Secretary of State. These special laws put businesses in the position of asking for favors from lawmakers, and they create a wholly unnecessary bureaucratic headache. Sam worked with the Secretary of State to develop this legislation.