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                           Legislative Alert
 
Will this be the year for the taxpayer? Will this be the Leadership team that will repeal the master lever? Will the legislation finally come to a vote on the floor of both the House and the Senate?  With your help, it might!  
 
Good Government - something old, something new.
At last count, there were no less than 27 bills to be heard in House Judiciary this coming Tuesday,including the much anticipated ‘Repeal of the Master Lever’.
 
If you think this is an unusually high number to be heard in one day, you would be right.  If we were cynics, we would believe that it is an attempt to deter people from coming to testify in support of REPEALING THE MASTER LEVER.  With all of these bills it will be a very long night, but we ask for your commitment.  If you have ever held the conviction that the Master Lever must go, please join us in gathering in Room 101, this Tuesday at the Rise (approximately 4:30). The important part will be for you to sign your name on the sign-in sheet that appears outside the room before the hearing, registerin support’, and, if you do not want to testify, simply write ‘no testimony’.  You will need to look for bills H 7512 and H 8072.
 
Please do the same for the ETHICS BILL. Look for H 7593. You will also find they are hearing a bill to REPEAL VOTER ID. Please sign up on bill H 7767 and register ‘against’. You can park across the street in the state parking lots after 4:00 pm.   
 
On the same day as Master Lever, there are numerous other bills to be heard in House Judiciary. Please review them below and sign up on the appropriate sheets to register your support or opposition.  As long as you are there, you might as well weigh in on some of the other 27 bills, like ‘term limits’, ‘line item veto’, ‘on line voter registration’, etc.
 
Buried in the afternoon.
The Finance Committee has the opposite issue on Wednesday. An egregious bill to allow in state tuition for illegal aliens, is having its very own, somewhat private hearing at 2:00 in the afternoon. How many of you can make time to get out of work at 1:00, drive over to the State House and find a parking spot (no parking in the state office parking lot until 4:00) and sit through a 2:00 hearing?  But how many of you believe that it is wrong for illegal aliens to receive the benefits, from our tax dollars, that significantly reduce the cost of education, especially when many of the state’s children will not even obtain admission to URI or RI College.  If you can make it, we urge you to attend and register in opposition to this proposed law (H 7437).  Unfortunately, as king, Governor Chafee’s own Board of Governors for Higher Education afforded illegal aliens the benefit of your tax dollars for in state tuition back in 2011. Presumably, the right governor can turn that decision around.
 
In other news, what’s really new?
On Wednesday, there is an assault on taxpayers with legislation looking to increase daycare subsidies in the state. Representatives Cimini and Diaz are leading the charge. RI currently subsidizes daycare to the tune of $50 million a year. Last year, the General Assembly passed a law allowing private daycare workers to unionize. That will increase the cost of daycare even before we get to the 6 bills, listed below, to be heard on Wednesday, which will increase daycare subsidies.  Write to Chairman Gallison and let him know enough is enough with the handouts.    
 
No brainer bills to save taxpayers easy money, otherwise known as low-hanging fruit. 
Why is it that a bill to prohibit the use of welfare funds on things like alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets must be heard over and over again?  Wouldn’t the average taxpayer already assume that prohibition was in place?  Why would the government allow taxpayer dollars to be consumed in that fashion anyway? Or, how about the reasonable expectation that when you use taxpayer dollars you are who you say you are?  A bill that requires a photo ID on welfare EBT cards is up for a hearing again, on Wednesday, in House Finance.  Will it be sent to Never Never land, where little bills will always be little bills? Legislation that prevents fraud, waste and abuse appears to most to be a simple way to reign in the cost of government because it is a win- win for everyone.  Why is it that RI’s General Assembly has such a hard time passing this type of legislation?  
 
                  Legislative Hearings  4/29/14 - 5/1/14
 
TUE, APR 29
 
House Judiciary                 Chairman Keable   
Room 101, Rise (4:30)
 
H 7024  Ballot initiative for term limits for General Assembly members.
Sponsors: Lombardi, O’Neill, Canario, Costa and Giarrusso
 
H 7267  Allows a classified employee to run for office, creating a serious conflict of interest.
Sponsors: Diaz and Slater
 
H 7512  Repeals the Master Lever.
Sponsors:Marcello, Newberry, Nunes, Hearn and Valencia
 
H 8072  Repeals the Master Lever. Additionally, requires community outreach and training.
Sponsors: Shekarchi, Ackerman, McNamara, Costa and Craven
 
H 7593  Ballot initiative to allow jurisdiction of ethics commission.
Sponsors: Marcello, Costantino, Blazejewski, Ajello and Hearn
 
H 7601  Creates electronic voter registration system.
Sponsors: Marcello, Blazejewski, Kazarian, Finn and Morgan (submitted by the secretary of State)
 
H 7617  Prohibits state vendors from making political contributions to candidate responsible for awarding contract.
Sponsors: Marcello, Nunes, Hearn, Serpa and Fellela (submitted by AG) 
 
H 7767  Repeals Voter ID.
Sponsors: Valencia, Ajello, Tanzi, Cimini and Walsh
 
H 8014  Amendment to the Constitution to allow budget line item veto by the Governor.
Sponsors: Morgan, Chippendale, Giarrusso and Hull
 
Senate Finance                 Chairman DaPonte      
Room 211, 3:00 pm
 
S 2063  Prohibits use of welfare benefits for alcohol, lottery tickets, tobacco, and other non essential items and services with penalties for violation.
Sponsors:  Bates, Walaska, Sosnowski, Ottiano and McCaffrey
 
WED, APR 30
 
House Finance                   Chairman Gallison  
Room 35, 2:00 pm
 
H 7437 Allows in state tuition for illegal aliens and for non residents in border communities if they attend a private RI high school.
Sponsors: Diaz, Slater, Williams, Ferri and Almeida
 
House Finance                    Chairman Gallison     
Room 35, Rise (4:30)
 
H 7661  Requires photo ID on Welfare EBT cards.
Sponsors: Messier, Fellela, Johnston, Ackerman and Edwards
 
After already pouring $50 million into subsidized daycare in RI, numerous bills will be heard to increase these subsidies:
H 7734  
Sponsors: Cimini, Diaz, Slater, Ferri, O’Neill, Ajello, Williams, Ruggiero and Valencia
 
THU, MAY 1
House Finance                    Chairman Gallison   
Room 35, Rise (4:30) 
 
H 7038 / H 7247  Increases the RI Road and Bridge Revolving fund from $20 to $50 million. 
Sponsors: McLaughlin, Hull, Giarrusso, Shekarchi, Bennett and Phillips
 

 

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