Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
Governor to Unveil Budget Proposal Tuesday
Governor Dan McKee will give his State of the State Address Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. The address will be televised and should include an outline of his budget priorities for FY2023 which begins in July. The budget is also expected to include the Governor’s proposal for spending the remainder of the federal relief dollars provided to Rhode Island.
State Releases Electric Vehicle Study and Recommendations
Last Month the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Environmental Management (DEM), and Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released a report entitled, “Electrifying Transportation: A Strategic Policy Guide for Improving Public Access to Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Rhode Island.” This report was created to comply with a requirement of legislation passed in 2021. The 91-page report can be viewed in its entirety at: http://www.energy.ri.gov/documents/Transportation/Electrifying%20Transportation%20Guide%20Dec%202021.pdf
According to the latest inventory, the transportation sector accounts for 35.5% of Rhode Island’s current greenhouse gas emissions. The heating sector accounts for approximately 33% of emissions. The electric sector accounts for 28.2%; and the remainder comes from “other sources.” In April, 2021, the legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, the 2021 Act on Climate. This law mandates Rhode Island meet specific emission reduction targets. Those targets are: 45% below 1990 levels by 2030; 80% below 1990 levels by 2040; and Net-zero emissions by 2050. This December Report is meant to lay out the initial policies necessary to meet the mandates.
As of December 3, 2021, 4,540 electric vehicles were registered in Rhode Island. Fifty-one (51) percent of electric vehicles registered in Rhode Island are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and forty-nine (49) percent are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Combined, BEVs and PHEVs comprise less than one (1) percent of total light-duty vehicles registered in Rhode Island. While there are zero electric medium-duty vehicles and three (3) electric heavy-duty vehicles registered in Rhode Island as of December 3, 2021, the authors of the report believe these numbers are likely to increase as models become available and prices become more attractive for businesses.
The report lays out the following goals for State agencies in 2022:
Finally, the report asks the legislature to consider the following actions in upcoming sessions:
CHAMBER MEMBER ACTION REQUEST - Preparations for 2022 Session
The Chamber may be calling you, asking for your assistance as we prepare for this new session. Please go to https://vote.sos.ri.gov and click on “Find Your Elected Officials.” Enter zip code and address. Find your “Representative District” legislator and your “Senate District” legislator (if you live in Rhode Island). Email your name and the legislators’ names to _____________________. The Chamber will be compiling a database for future grassroots efforts. If you also know a legislator who lives in another district, please send that information to the Chamber as well and we will include it in the database.
Thank you for your help!
The following new bills have been filed:
House Bill No. 7013 Kennedy, Azzinaro, Edwards, Solomon, Ackerman, Craven, Phillips, Abney, Kazarian, Shanley ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW -- GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS -- DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION BY ONLINE MARKETPLACES (Requires high-volume third-party sellers, selling consumer goods on online marketplaces, to provide certain information to the marketplaces and disclose certain information to consumers on product listings.)
House Bill No. 7016 Lombardi, Hull, Cassar, Potter, Felix, Morales, Henries
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- COVID-19 PANDEMIC INSURANCE RECOVERY ACT (Allows businesses that had an insurance policy in place for business interruption as of March 9, 2020 or thereafter to recover from their insurance companies for a COVID-19 business impact.)
House Resolution No. 7022 BY Shanley ENTITLED, HOUSE RESOLUTION REINSTATING THE LIFE OF AND EXTENDING THE REPORTING AND EXPIRATION DATES OF THE SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION KNOWN AS THE "RHODE ISLAND ONLINE DATA TRANSPARENCY AND PRIVACY PROTECTION COMMISSION" (Reinstates the life and extends the reporting and expiration dates of the "Rhode Island Online Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Commission" from May 5, 2021, to May 5, 2022, and said commission expires on July 5, 2022.)
House Bill No. 7060 Alzate, McEntee, Caldwell, Lombardi, Carson
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES -- RETAIL LICENSES -- HAPPY HOUR (Allows happy hour drink specials served in conjunction with meals prepared on the premises sufficient to constitute breakfast, lunch or dinner, excluding snacks.) http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H7060.pdf
House Bill No. 7065 McEntee, Cortvriend, Speakman, Donovan, Carson, Caldwell, Craven, Morales, Kislak, Ruggiero ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION ACT (Creates the "Plastic Waste Reduction Act" designed to reduce the use of plastic bags by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options and providing penalties for violations.) http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText22/HouseText22/H7065.pdf
House Bill No. 7077 Edwards, Fogarty, Bennett, Baginski, Shanley ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURANCE POLICIES (Requires that a participant or beneficiary of a health insurance plan incur no greater out-of-pocket costs for emergency services than they would have incurred with an in-network provider other than in-network cost sharing.)
House Bill No. 7078 Edwards, Fogarty, Caldwell, Bennett, Cassar, Filippi, Baginski, Shanley ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE (Requires a health plan to cover clinically appropriate and medically necessary residential or inpatient services, including detoxification and stabilization services, for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.)