Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2020 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 Agenda
Legislative Topicsort ascending Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position Updated date
Water Establishes Limits on PFAS in Water.

Instructs the Department of Health to establish maximum PFAS levels in water.

7216 2235 H7216, S2235 Support 03/04/2020 - 3:49pm
Waste Tax Credit to Homeowner as Incentive to do Sewer over Septic.

Allows a one-time non-refundable tax credit to the owner of real property for the costs of connecting to a municipal sewer system.

2215 S2215 Support 03/03/2020 - 1:42pm
Waste Adds "Cigarette Butts" to the Definition of "Litter".

Re: Litter Control & Recycling, this bill adds "cigarette butts" to the definition of "litter".

2195 S2195 Support 03/04/2020 - 5:48pm
Waste Plastic Waste Reduction Act.

To reduce the use of plastic bags by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options and providing penalties for violations.

7306 2003 S2003, H7306, S2003subA Support 05/05/2020 - 8:06pm
Waste "Ask First" Plastic Straw Bill.

This bill prohibits food service establishments from providing plastic straws, unless requested by the consumer.

7163 H7163 Support 03/04/2020 - 3:20pm
Waste No Styrofoam in Food Service Containers.

Prohibits the preparing, selling, processing or providing food or beverages in or on a disposable food service container that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.

7164 H7164 Support 03/04/2020 - 3:21pm
Waste Composting Facilities.

This bill requires businesses & educational facilities that produce at least fifty-two (52) tons of organic-waste yearly and are located within thirty (30) miles of an authorized composting facility to use authorized methods of recycling.

7868 H7868 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:12pm
Waste Prohibits Polystyrene Food Packaging.

Prohibits a covered establishment from preparing, selling, processing or providing food or beverages in or on a disposable food service container that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.

2636 S2636 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:06pm
Waste Bottle Bill – 10¢ Deposit on Bottles.

Creates a refundable ten cent ($0.10) deposit for non-reusable beverage containers.

2513 S2513 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:54pm
Transportation Commuter Transportation Benefit Act.

Establishes the Commuter Transportation Benefit Act such that employers with five hundred (500) or more employees would provide a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit program or provide transportation to their employees.

2705 S2705 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:52pm
Pollution Prohibited Release of Balloons.

This bill would prohibit the intentional release of a balloon inflated with lighter-than-air gas. The prohibition would not apply to: a balloon released for scientific or metrological purposes on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract; a hot air balloon that is recovered after launching; or a balloon that is released and remains indoors.

7261 2191 H7261, S2191 Support 03/03/2020 - 2:19pm
Pollution Idling.

Would expand the prohibition against idling of engines to include all types of engines, not just diesel engines.

2111 S2111 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:22pm
Pollution Neonicotinoid Ban.

This bill would prohibit the use of neonicotinoids, which are a class of insecticides.

7425 2403 H7425, S2403 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:19pm
Planning and Development RI Cesspool Act of 2007.

Amends the 2007 Cesspool Act by exempting a residential homeowner who has abandoned an on-site system from obtaining a contractor to pump out and to fill in with material, as long as the residential homeowner has taken the necessary steps to secure the abandoned on-site system.

7052 H7052 Oppose 03/04/2020 - 3:12pm
Planning and Development Creating a New Park or Conservation Land.

Creates a voluntary mechanism for municipalities to use to dedicate a park, conservation or other land they own as public trust land in perpetuity to protect and preserve its future use.

2469 S2469 Support 03/06/2020 - 10:09am
Planning and Development Prohibits Development Near State House.

Prohibits any development of land contiguous to the State House unless approved by the general assembly.

7210 H7210 Support 03/05/2020 - 12:56pm
Planning and Development RI Energy Resources Act: Solar Siting.

This bill allows for the establishment of comprehensive solar energy siting ordinances in each municipality of the state.

7426 H7426 Support 03/05/2020 - 8:52am
Other Prohibiting Artificial Propagation of Game.

Prohibits captive hunting/possession, sale, breeding, importation of any mammal for purpose of captive hunting.

7308 H7308 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:50pm
Other Prohibiting Import of Wild Animals into RI .

Prohibits the practice of importing a wild animal into Rhode Island, where the animal is not native or indigenous to RI, for the purpose of conducting canned hunting.

7305 H7305 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:51pm
Land Coastal & Riverine Home Protection.

Enables cities & towns to provide a tax exemption to individuals who take resiliency measures to rehabilitate their property because of flood hazards.

7083 H7083 Support 03/04/2020 - 3:15pm
Land Conservation Easement Enabling Legislation.

Requires conservation and preservation restrictions to be liberally interpreted in favor of the grants awarded.

2426 S2426 Support 03/04/2020 - 12:52pm
Land Open Space Bond Resolution.

This Resolution provides for a voter referendum to seek approval of bonds not to exceed $4,000,000 and for a state Local Land Acquisition Matching Grant Program for open space and land conservation.

7676 Resolution H7676 Support 07/30/2020 - 7:52am
Land Conservation and Preservation Restrictions on Real Property.

Requires conservation and preservation restrictions to be liberally interpreted in favor of the grants awarded.

7245 H7245 Support 03/11/2020 - 2:15pm
Health Prohibition of PFAS in Food Packaging Act.

This bill would prohibit PFAS, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, from being used in food packaging.

7307 2068 S2068, H7307 Support 03/04/2020 - 4:18pm
Government Study of Reorganization of Rhode Island CRMC.

Amends the membership of the special Senate Commission to study the effect and procedures for the reorganization of the CRMC from 15 to 11, and extends the reporting and expiration dates from January 2, 2020, to June 9, 2020, and expires on January 12, 2021.

2026 Resolution S2026 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:23pm
Government Fines for Drivers Who Injure Vulnerable Road Users.

Provides for fines and sanctions to operators of motor vehicles who fail to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vulnerable road user causing injury, serious injury, or death to the vulnerable road user.

2082 S2082 Support 03/04/2020 - 1:05pm
Government Penalties on Careless Motorists for Injuring Vulnerable Road Users.

Provides for fines and sanctions to operators of motor vehicles who fail to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vulnerable road user causing injury, serious injury, or death to the vulnerable road user.

7259 2082 H7259, S2082 Support 10/23/2020 - 10:30am
Government Climate Issues – Part of Long-Term Economic Planning.

This bill adds climate change/sea-level rise/coastal resiliency to data analysis in long-term economic planning. Changes number of members of the economic development planning council from 17 to 19 by adding the Directors of Environmental Management and Coastal Resources Council.

7174 H7174 Support 03/04/2020 - 3:41pm
Government Tax Incentive for Connecting to a Sewer System.

This bill allows real property owners a one-time non-refundable tax credit for the actual costs of connecting a single family or multi-family dwelling to a municipal sewer system credited to the owner's personal or corporate income tax.

7406 H7406 Support 03/04/2020 - 4:29pm
Government Alternative Procedure for Approval of Freshwater Wetlands Alteration Applications.

This bill would require DEM to pay for other engineers to conduct a wetland evaluation if they don't get to it within statutory timelines on their own.

7867 H7867 Oppose 05/08/2020 - 3:21pm
Government Control of Mosquitoes and Ticks Act.

This bill establishes a program to control mosquitoes and ticks by the Dept of Health & DEM to coordinate the state's response to combatting the spread of mosquito-borne and tick-borne diseases. It engages stakeholders before aerial spraying for mosquitos and ticks; monitor afterwards.

7870 H7870 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:19pm
Government CRMC Member Appointed by Governor.

Authorizes the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint an executive director of Coastal Resources Management Council to act as a liaison to the Director of the Department of Environmental Management to plan and manage coastal resources.

2637 S2637 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:18pm
Energy Non-Regulated Power Producer Consumer Bill of Rights.

Each non-regulated power producer, except governmental bodies, will provide the potential residential customer with a complete "Bill of Rights" prior to the initiation of electric-generation services.

7110 H7110 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:47pm
Energy Residential Solar Energy Bill of Rights.

Grants residential purchasers of solar energy systems protections and disclosures in the retail sale/lease documents as well as the right to cancel/rescind the agreement within ninety (90) days prior to installation and notice of any liens filed against their residential property.

7217 H7217 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:49pm
Energy Economic & Climate Resilience Act of 2020.

This bill creates a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island and establishes an "economic and climate resilience fund" to disburse the collected funds to all residents and businesses in RI for climate resilience, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate adaptation programs, including low-income residents and small businesses.

2108 S2108 Support 03/03/2020 - 9:02pm
Energy 100% Renewable Energy; Lead By Example.

This bill requires the state, including all its agencies and departments, to purchase one hundred percent (100%) of their energy needs from renewable sources by January 1, 2031.

2638 S2638 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:08pm
Energy 100% Renewable Energy Standard.

Sets new renewable energy standards which increase annually beginning in 2021 so that by 2030 all obligated entities shall obtain 100% of electricity sold at retail to Rhode Island end-use customers from eligible renewable-energy resources.

2404 S2404 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:07pm
Conservation Energy & Water Efficiency Standards.

This bill would establish minimum energy & water efficiency standards for appliances and specified equipment purchased or installed after July 1, 2021.

7866 2043 S2043, H7866 Support 05/05/2020 - 8:46pm
Conservation Prohibits Non-Native, Invasive Plants.

Prohibits the importation, transportation, disbursement, distribution, sale, purchase, or possession of any species of non-native (exotic) invasive plants.

2110 S2110 Support 03/03/2020 - 8:58pm
Conservation Creating a New Park or Conservation Land.

Creates a voluntary mechanism for municipalities to use to dedicate a park, conservation or other land they own as public trust land in perpetuity to protect and preserve its future use.

7348 H7348 Support 03/03/2020 - 11:00pm
Conservation State Fleet Electrification.

This bill defines "light duty", "non-emergency" and "zero emission" vehicles and would require the state to convert its fleet of vehicles to no less than fifty percent (50%) of vehicles in those categories by the year 2028.

7680 2365 H7680, S2365 Support 05/08/2020 - 3:09pm
Composting School Waste Recycling and Refuse Disposal.

This bill requires schools to comply with recycling & composting laws and promotes the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools.

7507 H7507 Support 03/04/2020 - 5:46pm
Climate Ocean State Climate Adaptation Fund (OSCAR).

This bill establishes the Ocean State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Fund (OSCAR) which allows municipalities and the state to apply for grants to improve public safety and community climate resilience for coastal habitats, as well as river and stream floodplains.

7165 2194 S2194, H7165 Support 03/11/2020 - 2:56pm
Climate Climate Crisis Curriculum.

House Resolution Requesting That The Rhode Island Department Of Education Develop A Set Of Key Environmental And Climate Principles And Concepts To Be Infused In All Subjects For K-12 Public School Students.

7471 HR7471 Support 03/11/2020 - 2:53pm
Climate Promotes Roof Solar Installations on School Property.

Establishes a pilot program to promote the creation of roof solar installations on school property to generate electricity for school buildings in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

7459 H7459 Support 03/04/2020 - 4:40pm
Legislative Priority
Legislative Topicsort ascending Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position Updated date
Climate Resilient RI Act of 2014 - Act on Climate 2020.

This bill puts Rhode Island on a path toward net-zero emissions by 2050. It also requires transparency and accountability, by making our targets legally binding and enforceable.

7399 2165 H7399, S2165 Support 03/11/2020 - 2:17pm