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General Assembly planning to return for sessions

July 5, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are working on plans for a rare summer session later this month to consider several bills, legislative leaders say.

Committee hearings are being scheduled in both the Senate and House chambers next week and the House is expected to reconvene on July 16, according to a statement from the legislature. The Senate anticipates returning to session sometime during the week of July 13.

The legislature has largely been on hiatus since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the major issues is the uncertain state budget. The House Finance Committee will resume its deliberations for the 2021 fiscal year next Wednesday, and hold budget hearings over the next several weeks in anticipation of budget consideration in August. Much depends on the level of federal support that state gets from Congress.

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Gun laws, the rights of gay parents and a referendum to strip the word “plantations” from the state’s formal name are among the issues likely to be considered.

The State House remains closed to the public but the sessions and hearings will be broadcast on Capitol TV and streamed live on the General Assembly’s website.