Tuesday, April 23, 2013
More than 70 people from Coventry and EG gathered Monday evening in support of marriage equality legislation.
On Monday evening, more than 70 people from Coventry and East Greenwich gathered in the park at the Sandy Bottom Road/Tiogue Avenue intersection in Coventry to show their support for marriage equality. With the Senate Judiciary Committee due to vote on a bill today, the crowd gathered last night to call on Senator Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry, East Greenwich, West Warwick) to "support all loving and committed couples' right to marry the person they love," according to Kyle Megrath, Field Organizer for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage (RIUM). Senate Bill 38, sponsored by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), would define marriage as "the legally recognized union" of two people, regardless of gender. According to Ray Sullivan, executive …
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The EG senator says he hasn’t made a “firm decision” yet on voting to allow SSM legislation to be voted on by the full Senate.
State Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry, E.G., W.W.) has removed his name as a sponsor of legislation to hold a referendum on same sex marriage, but he’s stopped short of saying he will definitely support allowing a bill legalizing same sex marriage to be voted on by the full Senate. Raptakis is one of ten members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel in control of the legislation right now. Senate Bill 708, sponsored by Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Providence), would put a referendum before voters, asking if they want to legalize same-sex marriage by adding language to the state Constitution that defines marriage as "the legally-recognized union of two people." Senate Bill 38, sponsored by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), would…
Monday, March 18, 2013
It's unclear whether Fire District Commissioners will support the legislation.
The next chess piece has been moved: legislation to abolish the East Greenwich Fire District and establish a town fire department was submitted to the General Assembly last week. State Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-N.K., E.G., S.K., Narr.) and Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry, EG) introduced bill S-0739 on Wednesday, March 13. The intro of the bill – which was referred to the Senate Finance Committee – reads, "Authorizing the Town of East Greenwich to acquire the property, assets and personnel of the East Greenwich Fire District." State Rep. Anthony Giarrusso (R-E.G.) has also submitted a EGFD bill. According to Chuck Newton of the House Minority Office (and also the chair of the EG GOP), the bill is "in the hands of the Clerk of the House" and should …
Thursday, March 7, 2013
They met Monday night to talk about the plan to introduce legislation to incorporate the Fire District into the town – firework ensued.
The meeting between the East Greenwich Fire District, the Town Council, and East Greenwich's state legislators Monday night was the sort of lively example of debate not often seen in staid East Greenwich. Here's are video clips of some of the more dramatic portions. To read an account of the meeting, click here.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
State Senate colleague Dawson Hodgson strongly disagrees.
State Sen. Lou Raptakis told the Town Council and Fire District commissioners Monday night that resolutions where there's disagreement between the parties fail "99 percent" of the time in General Assembly, breathing fresh life into some of the EGFD commissioners' hopes to be able to remain independent. That was after about 45 minutes of heated debate over whether or not voters understood that the referendum they passed in November – to merge the Fire District with the town – would actually come to pass without another townwide vote. For video from the meeting, click here. East Greenwich state legislators attended a joint meeting of the Town Council and the EG Fire District to discuss legislation the Council is drafting to create a …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
News from the General Assembly as it relates to East Greenwich.
The state Senate approved legislation last Tuesday to amend a new reporting requirement on alcohol sales in the state. The bill was introduced by Sen. Leonidas Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry) and now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Raptakis represents part of western East Greenwich as well as part of West Greenwich. Raptakis decried the reporting requirement – which was passed last session. He said restaurant and bar owners received notification from the Division of Taxation early in January that they had until Feb. 1 to provide this new report, a detailed two-page form that requires businesses to compile their total alcoholic beverage sales for the previous year. Currently, restaurants and bars have to file a …
Sunday, February 3, 2013
He decries the Senate's "lack of urgency"; Rep. Giarrusso says these early days are for getting bills written and, in general, tackling smaller issues.
One month into the General Assembly's 2013 session, things haven't changed very much from this point two years ago, according to Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35). "We’re about a month in, we’ve only had one or two calendars since inauguration day," Hodgson said, referring to days in which there's formal action on a bill. "This is the time of year when we show up and there’s no bill pending, there’s no votes ... on state business." Hodgson said inaction on same-sex marriage is one reason for the Senate's seeming "lack of urgency." "Whether you support same sex marriage or oppose it … these are deeply held motiviations and they are profound on both sides. For my colleagues who are deeply engaged on this issue on both sides, they deserve to…
Monday, January 28, 2013
Both EG state senators say the real business of the General Assembly should be the economy.
Now that the state House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, the question has become when will the Senate Judiciary Committee – on which Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry) serves – take it up. Raptakis, of Coventry, represents a small portion of East Greenwich. He has said he is against same-sex marraige. On Sunday he said it's up to the head of the committee, Sen. Michael McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick), to decide when to take up the bill. When asked if he thought the Senate should act quickly, he said, "Why did the Speaker of the House push it through now? Aren’t there more pressing business concerns?" Alternatively, Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35, North Kingstown) would like to see a vote on same-…
Saturday, January 19, 2013
What we love and loathe about living in East Greenwich this week.
RANT: Two of these things are not like the others, two of these things don’t belong: Senator Dawson Hodgson Former Fox new hosts Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly Clint Eastwood Senator Leo Raptakis New York Ranger Sean Avery Former basketball player Charles Barkely Former VP Dick Chaney State representative Anthony Giarrusso C’mon. Mssrs Giarusso and Raptakis. Wake up and smell the spiced chai. You are fighting a losing battle on the gay marriage thing. But do what you have to do. As for me, I don’t care who a person marries ... as long as it’s another person. Seriously. The other day, I googled “pet marriage legal” and one of the concerns that popped up early in the search was whether it is legal to marry your dog (it seems cats and …
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Goings on for the first full week of the session, Jan. 7-11.
The first full week of the legislative session is over and committee assignments have been doled out. Not surprisingly, none of the three legislators representing East Greenwich have committee leadership positions. In the heavily Democratic General Assembly, two EG legislators are Republicans. The Democrat, while not without GA experience, is returning after a two-year break. EG’s senior legislator, Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35), has retained spots on the judiciary and labor committees and picked up a place on the oversight committee. He is also on the Joint Committee on Economic Development. He recorded Newsmakers on Rhode Island Public Radio a week ago. To hear that segment, click here. Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Dist. 33) was named to the…