Notes from the Field


Bill Tracker update: APR 24

Two bills with potential impacts on our food system were added to the tracker this week.  

  • SR935 commemorates April 23-29th as “Quahog Week 2023” in Rhode Island (Sen. DiMario).  This resolution is expected to be voted into law by the Senate this Tuesday.
  •  HB6293 amends the utility base rate statute to add clean transportation, clean heating, and energy storage projects to the allowed uses of PUC funds transferred to the RIIB for demand-side energy management programs (Rep. Cortvriend).  

Nineteen bills with potential food system impacts will be reviewed in committees this week, as follows.  Bills with active RI Food Policy Council work group advocacy are in bold.

HB5803 – provides a tax credit for food donations by qualified taxpayers to nonprofit organizations (House Finance, Thurs April 27, agenda here).

HJR6124 – appropriates $2 million to the RI Food Bank (House Finance, Thurs April 27).

HB5198 – defines light duty, non-emergency and zero-emission vehicles and requires the state to convert its fleet of vehicles to no less than 50% of vehicles in those categories by 2031 (House Finance, Tuesday April 25, agenda here).

HB5914 – requires conservation and preservation restrictions to be liberally interpreted in favor of the grants awarded (House Judiciary, Tuesday April 25, agenda here).  

SB418 – companion to HB5914, above (Senate Judiciary, Thursday April 27, agenda here).

SB31 – empowers the DOT to plant pollinator-friendly plants (Senate Housing & Muni Gov’t, Thursday, April 27, agenda here).

HB6007 – requires all public schools to make reimbursable breakfasts and lunches available to all students (House Finance, Wednesday, April 26, agenda here).

SB671 – creates a refundable 50 cent deposit for ‘nips’ (Senate Special Leg & Veterans Affairs, Wednesday, April 26, agenda here).

SB753 – establishes a system for recycling beverage containers working with the RI DEM (Senate Special Leg & Veterans Affairs, Wednesday, April 26).

SB37SB138SB826SB827 – all four bills would raise the state minimum wage using different formulas and timelines (Senate Labor, Wednesday, April 26, agenda here).

SB770 – requires applicants for permits for activities that would have an environmental impact on an environmental justice area to meet certain requirements (Senate Environment & Ag, Wednesday, April 26, agenda here).

SB201 — requires covered entities generating organic waste materials more than 52 tons/yr and located less than 30 miles from a composting or digestion facility to recycle the waste at that facility beginning January 1, 2024 (Senate Env & Ag, Wednesday, April 26).

SB200 – establishes the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Program (Senate Env & Ag, Wednesday, April 26).

SB196 – prohibits the use of PFA’s in various products, including cookware (Senate Env & Ag, Wednesday, April 26).

SB15 – bans state purchases of plastic bottles, bags and polystyrene and requires the state to lease or purchase alternative fueled vehicles and energy efficient technologies on state property (Senate Env & Ag, Wednesday, April 26).

SB14 – bans most disposable food and beverage containers made of polystyrene (Senate Env & Ag, Wednesday, April 26).Finally, one bill with potential impacts on our food system will be voted on by the House this week:  HB5328 -A, which requires food service establishments to add an additional warning to their menus relative to food allergens (House vote, Thursday April 27).


The RIFPC Bill Tracker is a reference, covering all legislation affecting the Rhode Island food system and all topics of interest to Council Members. The Tracker is updated daily during the legislative session (January-June), and organized by major impact areas.