Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

Watch List - 2017

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
Climate Change Coastal Adaptation Trust Fund

Establishes the RI coastal adaptation trust fund which would enable cities and towns and the state to apply for grants to fund projects that invest in measures that adapt infrastructure on public lands to address the impacts of climate change.

5808
Deborah Ruggiero
0442
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Passed Senate - Sent to House Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Eliminate Liability Protection for Outdoor Recreation

Excludes the state and municipalities from the definition of "owner" for the purposes of liability limitations relating to public use of private lands.

0386
Michael J. McCaffrey
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Green Building Act

This act would expand the "Green Buildings Act" to include public projects and updates the standards to include LEED for Neighborhood Development, and SITES.

5427
Christopher R. Blazejewski
0952
Louis P. DiPalma
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
Removes Beach User Fees

This bill would eliminate all user fees for access to any state beach thereby reducing the revenue used to manage state beaches.

5076
Robert B. Lancia
0475
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Finance Deferred In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Carbon Pricing Study - EC4 and Resilient RI Act

This act would direct the climate change coordinating council to study a carbon pricing program, to incentivize institutions and industry to reduce carbon emissions and would make several other additions to the council's responsibilities.

6305
Marcia Ranglin-Vassell
0108
William J. Conley
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Passed Senate - Sent to House Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Water Authority Bill

This act would establish the Rhode Island cooperative water authority. The authority would have the power to acquire, lease, manage, sell, and otherwise deal with land and water supply systems. The authority would be authorized to issue bonds and notes in furtherance of its mission.

6122
Scott Slater
0810
Maryellen Goodwin
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred In Committee Legislative Priority
*Oppose*
Flame Retardants in Furniture and Children's Products

Prohibits the use of an entire family of chemicals called phthalates, which are know endocrine disruptors and can cause other health issues, from being used in flame retardants that are applied to furniture and children's products.

5082
Michael A. Morin
0166
Adam J. Satchell
2017-2018 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Senate Vote Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Gas Pipeline Bill

This act would preclude electric distribution companies from including their gas transmission contracts or cost of facilities in the rate base for electricity customers.

6184
Raymond H. Johnston Jr.
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Renewable Energy Growth Program Extension

The Distributed Generation Contract program was a successful pilot that was extended into the Renewable Energy Growth program in 2014 (RIGL 39-26.6). This bill extends the REG for an additional 10 years after the 5th program year, with an annual target of 40 nameplate MW for each of the 10-year periods. This will help diversify Rhode Island’s energy mix and improve system reliability.

5274
Deborah Ruggiero
0112
William J. Conley
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Transmitted to Governor Signed Legislative Priority
*Support*
Decoupling Bill

This act would permit, rather than require, electricity and gas revenues to be decoupled from sales and require submission of a full rate filing every three (3) years by electric and gas distribution companies.

This act would also require electric-distribution companies to provide an annual report on revenues to the governor, general assembly, division of public utilities, and the PUC.

6188
Robert B. Jacquard
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act of 2017

This act would establish a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island, paid at the point of sale within the state for consumption or distribution within the state. It would also establish a "Clean Energy and Jobs Fund" to disburse the collected funds. The funds would be disbursed through rebates to all residents and businesses in the state as well as allocated to climate resilience, energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy programs that benefit Rhode Islanders, particularly low income residential properties and small business properties.

5369
J. Aaron Regunberg
0365
Jeanine Calkin
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Finance Deferred In Committee Legislative Priority
*Support*
Carbon Pricing Study - EC4 and Resilient RI Act

This act would direct the climate change coordinating council to study a carbon pricing program, to incentivize institutions and industry to reduce carbon emissions and would make several other additions to the council's responsibilities.

Energy Facility Siting Act

Prevents the energy facility siting board from proceeding to final hearing or issuing a final decision if one or more of the designated agencies inform the siting board that they are unable to form an advisory opinion due the conduct of the applicant

5872
Daniel P. McKiernan
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations In Committee
RESPONSIBLE RECYCLING, REUSE AND DISPOSAL OF MATTRESSES

Abolishes fees imposed upon Rhode Island residents and businesses operating within the state for the collection, transportation, storage or recycling of any mattress after January 1, 2018.

5387
Deborah A. Fellela
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
Product Stewardship Bottle Recycling Act

Creates a beverage container program using redemption centers which would include the use of automated devices to accept certain glass, aluminum, and plastic containers for recycling.

5801
Jean-Philippe Barros
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Fragrance Disclosure Act

Requires manufacturers to fully disclose to the DOH all ingredients contained in their cosmetic products manufactured, distributed or sold in the state, and further subjects a manufacturer to financial penalties for a violation of this requirement.

5905
Carlos E. Tobon
2017-2018 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Enable Municipal Aggregation

Municipal aggregation, also known as community choice aggregation, allows a city or town to choose the electricity supplier for residents and businesses within that municipality. It is a model allowing for important energy decisions to be made at the local level rather than by an investor-owned utility or by a for-profit competitive electricity supplier. Current Rhode Island law has too many procedural barriers that prevent town planners from pursuing aggregation.

5536
Deborah Ruggiero
0877
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations 2017-2018 Senate Commerce Committee Passed House - Sent to Senate Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Limit Energy Efficiency Savings

Bill would cap energy efficiency program charge for the next 5 years and add another unnecessary layer of verification that would divert funds from the efficiency programs. ECRI opposes this bill.

5640
Arthur J. Corvese
0632
Marc A. Cote
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations 2017-2018 Senate Commerce Committee Deferred Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Protected Lands

This legislation increases penalties for people who cut trees, steal stone walls or otherwise intentionally vandalize or damaging protected lands. Current penalties are so low that they are not a deterrent. The legislation, patterned after an effective law in Connecticut, increases the fines for people convicted and enables land trusts and municipalities to recoup costs for restoring protected lands that are willfully damaged.

5116
Cale P. Keable
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Passed House - Sent to Senate In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Stop Invenergy Plant

It makes clear what the General Assembly meant all along – that when a company wants to build a new, dirty, polluting power plant but illegally refuses to provide information to agencies charged with providing Advisory Opinions, the EFSB must deny the application.

5897
Cale P. Keable
0756
Paul W. Fogarty
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*