Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2012 Legislative Agenda

These are the bills that the 2012 Green Report Card will be based on.

Pub Date: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2012 Legislative Priorities in the RI General Assembly

For status updates on these bills, please enter the number series for each bill into the “Bills” field of the form located here: http://status.rilin.state.ri.us/


 An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers Public Transit Investment

Sponsors: O'Grady, Tanzi, Handy, Blazejewski, Valencia  H7581

Would Restore RIPTA to the dedicated trust fund created in the 2011 budget to provide for investments in transit services while simultaneously moving the timeline forward and creating additional revenue by transferring all existing registration fees into the fund.

 RI Budget FY 2013
  Clean Water Bond & Local Farm, Open Space, and Recreation Bond

RI Budget Article 5, Question #3 and Question #4

These 2 bond referendums are proposed by Governor Chafee's budget and would provide funding for:

Clean Water Bond — $20 million for wastewater treatment plant improvements, sewer line extensions, sewer-tie ins, residential septic system upgrades. Clean Water Bond Fact Sheet (pdf file, 60kb).

Local Farm, Open Space and Recreation Bond — $25 million for farm land conservation, local grants for open space acquisition for habitat and recreation, local grants to develop outdoor recreation facilities, fish passages, stormwater management and habitat restoration. Local Farm, Open Space and Recreation Bond Fact Sheet (pdf file, 32kb).


 An Act Relating to Health and Safety
  Product Stewardship for Discarded Products

Senate Sponsors: Ruggerio, McCaffrey, Felag, Walaska, and Miller   S2398

House Sponsors: Walsh, Ruggiero, Tanzi, Handy, and Naughton   H7443

These bills would establish a framework for manufacturers to be responsible for collecting and recycling their products, providing an incentive to design products that are less toxic, more durable, and easier to recycle. Program to be pre-populated with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs.


 An Act Relating to Health and Safety

House Sponsors: Brien, Phillips, and Baldelli-Hunt   H7049

This bill would overturn the State's ban on incineration of waste and facilitate the creation of a waste-to-energy facility located in the city of Woonsocket.

 An Act Relating to Towns and Cities

House Sponsors: Gallison, San Bento, Malik, Brien, and Dickinson   H7866

Senate Sponsors: McCaffrey, and Lynch   S2616

This bill was drafted by the RI Builders Association and would limit municipalities' ability to protect wetlands and steep slopes through the planning, zoning and subdivision process. This legislation will increase development density in rural areas that have wetlands and/or steep slopes and zoning requirements for lots larger than 1 acre.

 Act Relating to Parks & Recreation Areas — Public Use of Private Lands
   Liability Limitations

Senate Sponsor: McCaffrey   S2491

This legislation would eliminate the liability protection for public recreation use of lands owned by municipalities and the state. It would increase municipal and state costs for liability insurance and for accident claims. As a result, it would discourage municipal efforts to develop parks and otherwise encourage public recreation use on land they own. It would also discourage partnerships between non-profit organizations and municipalities and the state to develop trails and promote recreational use of other protected areas.

For status updates on these bills, please enter the number series for each bill into the “Bills” field of the form located here: http://status.rilin.state.ri.us/