Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2018 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.

Legislative Priority
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position 2018 Pro-Con-Neutral
Budget Green Economy and Clean Water Bond.

Passage of Article 5 of the proposed FY2018-19 budget will place several bond questions before the voters in the 2018 Fall Election relating to Capital Development.
One such program is the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond, which will be on the ballot as Question 3.

Approval of this proposed question on the upcoming Fall 2018 ballot will allow the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and/or temporary notes in an amount not to exceed $48,500,000 for environmental and recreational purposes, to be allocated as follows:

  • Coastal Resiliency and Public Access Projects $5,000,000
  • Capital for Clean Water and Drinking Water $6,100,000
  • Wastewater Treatment Facility Resilience Improvements $5,000,000
  • Dam Safety $4,400,000
  • State Recreation Projects Program $10,000,000
  • State Bikeway Development Program $5,000,000
  • Brownfield Remediation and Economic Development $4,000,000
  • Local Recreation Projects $5,000,000
  • Access to Farmland $2,000,000
  • Local Open Space $2,000,000


7200 H7200, H7200subA, H7200subAamended, Budget Article 5, Budget Art 5 SubA Support Support Legislative Priority
Climate Global Warming Solutions Act.

This act would establish the Rhode Island global warming solutions act to reduce carbon emissions across various sectors of the local economy.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7827 2747 H7827, S2747 Support Legislative Priority
Conservation Energy Efficiency Cap Legislation.

This act would cap the system benefit charge, relative to system reliability and energy efficiency, at the annual published Consumer Price Index or two and one-half percent (2.5%), whichever is greater.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7808 2499 H7808, S2499 Oppose Oppose Legislative Priority
Energy Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act.

Establishes a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island and also establishes a receipt account to disburse the funds from.

7400 2188 H7400, S2188 Support Legislative Priority
Waste Plastic Waste Reduction Act.

This act would prohibit large retail sales establishments from providing plastic checkout bags and all retail establishments from providing expanded polystyrene disposable food containers enforced by municipal police departments or other municipal designees with an opt-out provision.

7851 2354 H7851, S2354 Support Support Legislative Priority
Legislative Agenda
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position 2018 Pro-Con-Neutral
Conservation The Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Exploration Activities Control Act.

This act would regulate activities related to any offshore oil and gas drilling, including exploration in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to minimize any adverse effects resulting therefrom within the territorial waters and coastline of the state.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7250 2116 S2116, H7250 Support Legislative Agenda
Conservation The Energy & Consumer Savings Act of 2005.

This act would establish minimum energy and water efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the state.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7828 2362 H7828, H7828subA, H7828subAaa, S2362 Support Legislative Agenda
Conservation Forest Siting Bill.

This bill establishes the Rhode Island Forest Conservation Act which prohibits any state economic and other incentives to develop or convert forest land for renewable energy uses.

8141 H8141 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Conservation Pollinator Working Group.

This bill is a Resolution requesting that D.E.M. continue to collaborate with the Pollinator Working Group.

8138 Resolution H8138 Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Solar Industry Economic Investment Act.

This act would establish a revolving fund to provide low interest loans and grants to support the installation of solar energy panels. The act would also establish a tax credit for companies involved in solar energy production.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7219 H7219 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Energy Energy Efficiency Study Bill.

This act would require the office of energy resources to conduct a study to verify the energy savings measures from the state energy efficiency programs.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7807 2500 S2500, S2500subA, S2500subB, H7807, H7807subA Neutral Legislative Agenda
Energy Biomass fuels eligible for net metering.

The bill would expand the definition of eligible net metering resources by including "eligible biomass fuels".

8020 2652 H8020, S2652 Oppose Oppose Legislative Agenda
Land Right of Footway.

Clarifies that § 34-7-4 ("right of footway denied") applies only to private rights of footway.

7978 2758 H7978, H7978subA, S2758 Support Legislative Agenda
Land Increase Penalty for Protected Lands.

This act would prohibit encroachment upon open space land and would allow the owner of open space land or the holder of a conservation easement to bring a civil action in superior court to remedy the encroachment of that land, and to recover damages resulting from this encroachment.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7383 2682 H7383, H7383subA, S2682 Support Legislative Agenda
Land Disbands Smithfield Land Trust.

This act would disband the Smithfield Land Trust and would transfer all function and real estate held by the Smithfield Land Trust to the town of Smithfield and Smithfield town council.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7425 H7425 Oppose Oppose Legislative Agenda
Outdoor Recreation Eliminate Liability Protection for Outdoor Recreation.

This act would change the definition of "owner" to exclude the state and municipalities for the purposes of liability limitations relating to public use of private lands.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7524 H7524 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Planning and Development RI Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program.

This act would create a municipal infrastructure grant program within the department of administration (DOA) to issue grants and provide assistance for municipal and other public infrastructure projects that support job creation and expansion, housing development and rehabilitation, community development, and for the accommodation of future growth and redevelopment.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7102 2239 S2239, S2239subA, H7102, H7102subA Support Support Legislative Agenda
Planning and Development Resolution Opposing President Trump's Offshore Drilling Proposal.

The Resolution expresses opposition to President Trump's decision to allow offshore drilling in most of America's coastal waters.

7179 2360 Resolution S2360, Resolution H7179 Support Legislative Agenda
Planning and Development Renewable Energy Siting Bill.

This act would require, by July 1, 2019, the establishment of renewable energy siting ordinances in all cities and towns which would meet the standards set by a working group within the office of energy resources.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7793 H7793 Neutral Legislative Agenda
Waste School Waste Recycling and Refuse Disposal.

This act would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, would promote the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools and would promote the selection of local food service companies for school food service contracts.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7699 H7699, H7699subA Support Legislative Agenda