Rhode Island lawmakers unveil bills for new session

December 22, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are unveiling bills they plan to pursue in the new legislative session that begins Jan. 7.

Democratic Reps. June Speakman, of Warren, and Terri Cortvriend, of Portsmouth, said they will introduce legislation establishing a state-level process to set maximum contaminate levels for toxins, including a family of industrial chemicals turning up in public water supplies around the country.

“We have seen instances of public drinking water made unsafe by contaminants, and government not always being swift to step in,” Speakman said. “We should be proactive.”

Democratic Sen. Leonidas Raptakis, of Coventry, said he will reintroduce legislation that stalled in past years to establish an inspector general’s office to identify fraud and waste in public spending.

Raptakis will also again propose allowing voters to vote on a constitutional amendment to give the governor power to veto parts of the state budget. Most states already allow governors to strike individual budget items without having to veto an entire appropriations bill.

Democratic Rep. Joseph Solomon, of Warwick, said Thursday he has already pre-filed legislation to cap the amount health insurance providers can charge for insulin co-pays. Solomon said he’s concerned about rising costs.