Thursday is a key day and will set the tone for the remainder of the legislative session. At 9:00 a.m. in Room 35 at the State House, the House, the Senate and the Governor will meet for the final Revenue Estimating Conference. The three sides will come to an agreement as to how much the state will collect in revenue for FY2019. This number affects decisions over funding programs, cutting suggestions and tax increase proposals in the upcoming budget. Stay tuned for more information.
S.2871 (Senators Cano, Goldin, Goodwin, Gallo and Conley) provides an opportunity for employees affected by plant closings or mass layoffs to furnish competitive bids to purchase businesses otherwise at risk of reducing workforce. The bill states that whenever an employer is required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, to provide advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff, the director of the department of labor and training must provide to the affected employees (1) written notice of the employee’s right to bid to purchase the business, and (2) materials explaining how to conduct an election to determine whether to pursue the purchase. Employees would have 30 days after the receipt of the notice to gather signatures from 50% of the business’s employees who are interested in purchasing the company. S.2871 explicitly states that nothing requires the owner of the business to sell to the employees. The bill will be heard by the Senate Labor Committee Wednesday at the Rise – approximately 4:30 p.m.
H.8120 (Rep. Keable, Newberry, Price, Handy, Ruggiero) received a hearing in the House Committee on Environment and Energy last Thursday and will now get a committee vote this Thursday. H.8120 increases the number of people on the Energy Facilities Siting Board from 3 to 9. Under current law, the Director of the PUC, DEM and the Director of Administration for Planning are the members of the board. This bill would add the Department of Health, Attorney General, 4 members of the public (2 of which must be residents of the proposed host community of a facility, 1 appointed by the Attorney General with specific qualifications, and 1 who is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association with specific qualifications). If H.8120 were to pass it would be very difficult to site any energy facility in the state.
May and June are critical months for politics as some officials decide whether they will run for office again this fall. Anyone wishing to run for office must file a Declaration of Candidacy Form with the Local Board of Canvassers in the City or Town in which you reside. Forms can be filed June 24th, 25th or 26th. So far, Rep. Jay O’Grady, Lincoln and Sen. Marc Cote, Woonsocket have publicly announced they will not seek re-election.
The following bills were filed last week:
House Bill No. 8149
BY Morin, Phillips, Casey
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES - REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES (Provides for a penalty of $500 for failure of RI residents to register their motor vehicle with the RI department of motor vehicles and establishes a hotline to report such violation.)
House Bill No. 8163
BY Jacquard, Vella-Wilkinson, Messier, Morin
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- VOLUNTARY RESTRUCTURING OF SOLVENT INSURERS (Allows domestic insurance company to enter into a voluntary restructuring, including the use of a protected cell, with the approval of the commissioner.)
House Bill No. 8165
BY Amore, Keable, Shekarchi, Maldonado, Fogarty
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- MECHANICAL TRADES (Adds thermal systems insulation to the regulation and licensing of mechanical trades.)
Senate Bill No. 2854
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- LEVY AND ASSESSMENT OF LOCAL TAXES--CITY OF CENTRAL FALLS (Authorizes Central Falls to adopt 3 separate tax classifications of residential property consisting of tax rates: owner-occupied property of 5 units or less/dwellings of 6 units or more/non owner-occupied property of 5 units or less, including mixed use.)
Senate Bill No. 2871
BY Cano, Goldin, Goodwin, Gallo, Conley
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND TRAINING (Provides an opportunity for employees affected by plant closings or mass layoffs to furnish competitive bids to purchase businesses otherwise at risk of reducing workforce.)