Spotlight on the State House: Vol. VIII

It may be (almost) Spring Break for us, but the General Assembly is still hard at work.

Sen. Juan Pichardo introduced two bills this week that aim to increase public safety and reduce what he called the growing problem of gang violence in Rhode Island. The bills would create an Office of Gang and Youth Violence, as well as address neighborhood conditions that “allow gangs to thrive and expand,” and offer programs to adult gang members that would allow a “way out” of gang life.

The House Judiciary Committee held hearings Wednesday on bills concerning voter ID and criminal background checks. Among the bills was one sponsored by Rep. Doreen Costa that would require all voters in Rhode Island elections to present identification at the polls. Another, sponsored by Rep. Elaine Coderre, would prohibit those convicted of animal cruelty from owning or living with animals. But what about kids who LOOK like animals?

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held hearings Wednesday on bills that would ban indoor tanning for anyone under 18 — without a medical prescription — and require health screenings for newborns. The underage tanning bill, sponsored by Sen. Rhoda Perry, would also mandate that the Department of Health issue safety standards for all tanning facilities. Better get it while you still can!

Happy break!

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