Things got interesting last night for the state’s gubernatorial candidates as they debated their stances on a variety of social issues. For the most part, the candidates agreed on many things, such as the need for comprehensive sex education. Highlights include General Treasurer Frank Caprio relating his story of facing teenage parenthood when he was a high school senior (“I was a teenage father,” Caprio, a Democrat who favors abortion rights, said) and Victor Moffitt making things awkward by criticizing the “Big Brother” aspects of the national health-care overhaul (apparently the audience, composed mostly of 400 women, was not amused). The candidates didn’t stop there, though — they debated the economy this morning.
The push to legalize marijuana in Rhode Island, or at least decriminalize it, moved forward yesterday at the State House. A Senate committee heard testimony from both sides of the debate, and by the end of the hearing the opinions of Governor Carcieri, Attorney General Lynch and the state police all had their opinions known either through personal testimony or via letter. For the record, Carcieri wrote in his letter that he thinks substance abuse should be taken seriously — and that includes marijuana — but he stopped short of threatening to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.
State lawmakers are considering legislation that would overturn a 1944 law that seals the birth records of all adopted children in the state. Though such a law would not make all records for adults born in Rhode Island available, proponents say it will give adoptees access to their own familial and genetic information. Though the legislation has the approval of adoptees and their supporters, opponents worry the legislation would jeopardize the privacy of birth mothers and adoptive families.