Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

2016 Legislative Agenda

ECRI has considered these bills and has decided to support or oppose them at hearings. People interested in tracking legislation during the session are encouraged to sign up for an account in the General Assembly's Bill Tracker system.

FYI, all blue-headed columns are sortable, e.g., by bill number, topic, support/oppose, etc.

Download a summary of the 2016 ECRI Legislative agenda.

Legislative Priority
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position
Budget Green Economy Bond.

This bond, if approved will appear on the November ballot, will ask Rhode Islanders to invest $35 million in the state's growing "green economy". Historic State Park Development Program ($7 M); State Land Acquisition Program ($4 M); State Bikeway Development Program ($10 M); Brownfield Remediation & Economic Development ($5 M); Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program($3 M); Local Recreation Development Matching Grant Program ($2 M).

Get more details here.

7454 Budget Art 5, Budget Art 5 Sub A, Art 5 Sub A amended Support Legislative Priority
Energy Expanding The Renewable Energy Growth Program.

Expands the renewable energy growth program for an additional 10 years after the 5th program year, with an annual target of 40 nameplate mgw for each of the 10 year period.

7473 2181 H7473, S2181 Support Legislative Priority
Energy Energy Facility Siting Board.

This act would increase the membership of the energy facility siting board from three (3) to seven (7) members, and would require approval by the electors in Burrillville of any tax agreement established by the town council with a power plant located in the town. 

8240 3037 H8240, H8240subA, S3037, S3037subA Support Legislative Priority
Energy Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act.

Makes the investments we need to secure energy independence and move toward the economy of the future.

7325 H7325 Support Legislative Priority
Energy Renewable Energy Standard (2016).

This act would extend the 2004 Renewable Energy Standard Schedule Program, which required the suppliers of retail electricity to obtain minimum increasing amounts of renewable energy resources, beyond 2019 to 2035.

7413 2185 S2185, S2185subA, H7413, H7413subA Support Legislative Priority
Land Dry Lands Bill.

Provides that wetland buffers not be excluded from the calculation of buildable lot areas, minimum lot sizes or in the calculation of buildable lots or units.

7651 2591 H7651, H7651subA, S2591, S2591subA, S2591subA amended Oppose Legislative Priority
Legislative Agenda
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position
Agriculture Banning of Neonicotinoids Act.

This bill would prohibit or otherwise severely restrict the application of pesticide products containing neonicotinoids, including but not limited to the application of pesticide products containing any of the following: acetamiprid; clothianidin;dinotefuran; imidacloprid (the most widely used insecticide in the world); nitenpyram; nithizine; and thiamethoxam. The purpose is to halt the severe decline of pollinators, primarily honey bees. One-third of food produced in North America depends on pollination by honey bees, including nearly 95 varieties of fruits such as almonds, avocados, cranberries, and apples.

2798 Support Legislative Agenda
Conservation Court Review Standards for Proposed Amendments to Conservation Easements.

This legislation addresses the unintended consequences of legislation adopted in 2011. The legislation distinguishes court review standards for proposals to terminate or amend conservation easements. It clarifies the standard for proposed amendments to enable the Court, upon review, to approve a proposed amendment that results in a net gain to conservation values protected by a conservation easement.

7196 2233 S2233, H7196 Support Legislative Agenda
Conservation House Resolution for Protecting Pollinators.

Resolution 301. Requests that the Dept. of Environmental Management convene a working group to make recommendations to maintain and protect pollinator health and habitat in Rhode Island.

8265 H8265 Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Relating To Public Utilities & Carriers - Public Utilities Commission.

Requires the division of public utilities and carriers and the public utilities commission to include climate, environmental, employment, health and consumer concerns in all their proceedings and decisions.

7514 H7514 Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Renewable Energy Fund Extension.

Article 18 of the Governor's Budget proposes to extend the The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) from the end of 2016 until 2022. The REF provides financial and administrative support for a variety of renewable energy projects. It helps potential project owners conduct feasibility studies and helps grow local green sources of energy.

7454 2450 S2450, S2450subA, S2450subB, Article 18, Article 18 SubA, Art 18 SubA amended Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Green Buildings Act Amendments.

Expands the "Green Buildings Act" to include public projects and updates the standards to include LEED for Neighborhood Development, and SITES.

7819 H7819 Support Legislative Agenda
Health Phasing out Flame Retardants.

legislation would phase out the use of oranohalogen flame retardant chemicals, which are linked to cancer, learning disabilities, and reproductive dysfunction, from upholstered furniture and chikdren's products.

7977 H7977 Support Legislative Agenda
Health Fragrance disclosure in cosmetics.

The legislation would require cosmetics manufacturers to disclose all ingredients in their products, including the chemicals used in fragrance.

7915 2698 S2698, H7915 Support Legislative Agenda
Land Increases Penalties for Intentionally Damaging Protected Land.

Proposes to increase penalities for people who cut trees, steal stone walls, or otherwise intentionally damage protected open space lands. Current penalties are little more than a hand slap and are not a strong deterrent to keep people from damaging open space lands. This legislation is based on effective legislation in CT.

7606 2718 H7606, H7606SubA, H7606SubAaa Support Legislative Agenda
Transportation RIPTA authority appointment.

Members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate; with at least one of the seven (7) being a regular user of fixed route RIPTA transportation and at least one of the seven (7) being a person with a disability.

7329 2373 H7329, S2373 Support Legislative Agenda
Waste Mercury Reduction and Education Act.

The bill would require manufacturers to fund a statewide recycling program for light bulbs containing mercury. It also calls for DEM to set and enforce higher collection goals for the existing EPR program for mercury thermostats.

8266 2095 S2095, S2095subA, S2095subA amended, H8266, H8266subA amended Support Legislative Agenda