Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly for the week ending June 10, 2011. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/News/
Governor signs bill allowing physician assistants to aid in disaster care
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee signed into law legislation allowing physician assistants to participate in disaster and emergency care. Sponsored by Sen. Christopher S. Ottiano (R-Dist. 11, Bristol, Portsmouth) and Rep. Frank G. Ferri (D-Dist. 22, Warwick), the legislation (2011-S 0303A, 2011-H 5672A) permits physician assistants to provide care without physician supervision if a doctor is not available.
House bill gives adult adoptees access to birth certificates
The House has approved a bill (2011-H 5453A) to allow adult adoptees born in Rhode Island to obtain non-certified copies of their original birth certificates. Sponsored by Rep. John M. Carnevale (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston), the bill includes a “no release” option for birth parents. An identical Senate bill (2011-S 0361) has been introduced by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket).
House OKs bill to help police fight Internet child pornography
The House has approved legislation (2011-H 5093A) to give law enforcement agencies administrative subpoena power to obtain information from Internet service providers relative to the distribution or storage of child pornography. Sponsored by Rep. Peter Martin (D-Dist. 75, Newport), the bill will require ISPs to provide certain information to assist investigations of suspected violations of the state’s anti-pornography laws. An identical Senate bill (2011-S 0781A) was introduced by Sen. Beatrice A. Lanzi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston).
Bill bars foreclosures on property of active duty military
The Senate has approved legislation (2011-S 0703Aaa) to prohibit the foreclosure on property owned by active duty members of the military. Sponsored by Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton), the bill allows the courts, upon application by the service member, to stay any foreclosure proceedings or adjust the obligation to preserve the interests of all parties. An identical House bill (2011-H 5824) has been introduced by Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth).
Senate OKs bill promoting AP courses in RI schools
The Senate has passed legislation (2011-S 0436A) designed to promote access to advanced placement courses for all students in Rhode Island public schools. Sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston), the bill establishes an advanced placement teacher training program in four core academic subjects – English, math, science and social sciences.
Assembly passes genocide education bill
Legislation has passed the Assembly instructing the Department of Education to help local schools teach students about genocide as a critical component of civic education. The legislation (2011-S 0290A, 2011-H 5732A), sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Warwick) and Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence), directs the state Department of Education to post on its website materials to help schools teach students about genocides including the Holocaust and those in Armenia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda and Darfur.