Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

Watch List - 2020

ECRI may or may not have an official stance on these bills. People interested in tracking legislation during the session are encouraged to sign up for an account in the General Assembly's Bill Tracker system.
Click on blue-titled columns to sort by that field.

Bill Title House Bill # & Sponsor Senate Bill & Sponsor House Committee Senate Committee House Bill Status Senate Bill Status ECRI Position Updated date
"Ask First" Plastic Straw Bill

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

7163
David A. Bennett
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 3:20pm
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
Deborah Ruggiero
2019-2020 House Committee on Corporations Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:21pm
Prohibits Development Near State House

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

7210
Joseph J. Solomon Jr.
2019-2020 House Committee on Judiciary In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/05/2020 - 12:56pm
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
Joshua Miller
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:12pm
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
David A. Bennett
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 3:21pm
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
Joseph M. McNamara
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:20pm
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
Joseph M. McNamara
2019-2020 House Committee on Judiciary Voted out of Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 12:48pm
Bottle Bill – 10¢ Deposit on Bottles

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

2513
Mark P. McKenney
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:13pm
Establishes Limits on PFAS in Water

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

7216
June S. Speakman
2235
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Deferred Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 3:49pm
Prohibiting Artificial Propagation of Game

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

7308
William W. O'Brien
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:19pm
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
John G. Edwards
2019-2020 House Committee on Municipal Government Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/03/2020 - 11:00pm
Bottle Bill – 5¢ Deposit on Bottles

Creates a refundable five cent ($0.05) deposit for non-reusable beverage containers. A one cent ($0.01) handling fee would be paid by distributors.

7611
Carol Hagan McEntee
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:14pm
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
Christopher R. Blazejewski
2165
Dawn Euer
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred In Committee Legislative Priority
*Support*
03/11/2020 - 2:17pm
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
Joseph M. McNamara
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:18pm
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
Christopher R. Blazejewski
2019-2020 House Committee on Small Business Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 3:41pm
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
Valarie J. Lawson
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Labor In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:17pm
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
Camille Vella-Wilkinson
2194
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2019-2020 House Committee on Finance 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/11/2020 - 2:56pm
Idling

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

2111
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:04pm
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
Joseph J. Solomon Jr.
2019-2020 House Committee on Finance In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 4:29pm
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
Terri-Denise Cortvriend
2019-2020 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/11/2020 - 2:53pm
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
V. Susan Sosnowski
Passed Senate - Sent to House 03/12/2020 - 12:54pm
Bus Lane Travel Fine

Makes it a violation to use bus lanes while driving a car.

03/18/2020 - 11:00am
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
Alex D. Marszalkowski
2019-2020 House Committee on Finance In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 4:40pm
Community Remote Net Metering Expansion

Allows new applicants for net-metering systems to increase the maximum mega wattage from thirty (30 MW) to sixty megawatts (60 MW).

7280
Carlos E. Tobon
2109
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 House Committee on Corporations 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred 03/12/2020 - 12:51pm
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
Michael W. Chippendale
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:01pm
Conservation and Preservation Restrictions on Real Property

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

7245
Christopher R. Blazejewski
2019-2020 House Committee on Judiciary Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/11/2020 - 2:15pm
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
Julie A. Casimiro
2019-2020 House Committee on Municipal Government Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 3:15pm
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
Robert E. Craven Sr.
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:05pm
Neonicotinoid Ban

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

7425
Joseph M. McNamara
2403
Joshua Miller
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:16pm
Creating a New Water Resources Board

Establishes a new Rhode Island water authority consisting of eleven (11) members. The water authority would be established as a new quasi-public corporation and would assume all the duties and powers of the old water resources board. The act would repeal all statutory provisions regarding or relating to the water resources board.

2640
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee 03/21/2020 - 1:33pm
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
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:06pm
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
June S. Speakman
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/05/2020 - 8:52am
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
Dawn Euer
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Housing and Municipal Government Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/06/2020 - 10:09am
EFSA Amendments

This bill increases the membership of the Energy Facility Siting Board from three (3) to five (5) members and would revise the process of energy facility siting to mandate inclusion and participation of the public and cities and towns.

7930
John G. Edwards
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:07pm
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
Lauren H. Carson
2019-2020 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 5:46pm
Conservation Easement Enabling Legislation

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

2426
Louis P. DiPalma
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 12:52pm
Marine Fisheries Council

This bill would assign the regulatory jurisdiction over all marine animal species within the jurisdictional territory of the state to the Marine Fisheries Council.

7874
Carol Hagan McEntee
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/13/2020 - 12:34pm
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
Sherry Roberts
2019-2020 House Committee on Municipal Government Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
03/04/2020 - 3:12pm
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
Mark P. McKenney
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Finance In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/03/2020 - 1:42pm
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
Deborah Ruggiero
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:08pm
RI Cesspool Act of 2007 – Extended

This bill would allow DEM to extend certain deadlines for required sewer construction in the replacement of cesspools, but would not extend them beyond January 1, 2025.

7331
John G. Edwards
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources In Committee 03/04/2020 - 4:48pm
Adds "Cigarette Butts" to the Definition of "Litter"

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

2195
Hanna M. Gallo
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 5:48pm
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
Scott Slater
2019-2020 House Committee on Finance In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:09pm
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
Carol Hagan McEntee
2003
Dominick J. Ruggerio
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Senate Vote Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/11/2020 - 2:05pm
Energy Facility Siting Regulation

This bill states that applicants/licensees for fossil fuel electricity generating facilities must invest in renewable energy facilities in conjunction with their fossil fuel facility construction.

2192
Joshua Miller
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee 03/03/2020 - 5:30pm
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
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/03/2020 - 8:58pm
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
Edith H. Ajello
2365
James A. Seveney
2019-2020 House Committee on Finance 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Finance In Committee In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:10pm
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
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/03/2020 - 9:02pm
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
Susan R. Donovan
2191
V. Susan Sosnowski
2019-2020 House Committee on Judiciary 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/03/2020 - 2:19pm
Drug Take-back Program

Requires drug manufactures to establish fund and manage state approved drug take back programs, free of charge to the consumer and pharmacy.

7128
Arthur J. Corvese
2019-2020 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare In Committee 03/04/2020 - 4:44pm
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
Bridget G. Valverde
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:11pm
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
Terri-Denise Cortvriend
2068
Adam J. Satchell
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Deferred In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 4:18pm
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
Arthur Handy
2043
Adam J. Satchell
2019-2020 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred In Committee 03/22/2020 - 6:22pm
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
Stephen R. Archambault
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Judiciary In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
03/04/2020 - 1:05pm
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
Joshua Miller
2019-2020 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred 03/22/2020 - 6:12pm