Notes from the Field


Bill Tracker update: MAR 13

New Legislation Added to the Tracker

Last week was another busy week at the State House.  The General Assembly has now introduced over 1800 bills since January.  We added 13 bills to our bill tracker last week, bringing the total tracked to 126.

Three bills of note that were introduced last week and added to the tracker:

SJR560 – a joint resolution making an appropriation of $5 million to the RI DEM for the conservation of farmland (Sen. DiPalma) – this is a companion to Rep. McGaw’s resolution HJR6018.

SB517 – provides a tax credit for food donations by qualified taxpayers to nonprofit organizations (Sen. DiMario) – this is companion to Rep. McEntee’s bill HB5803.

SB558 – invests $500K in climate change and ocean protection education that includes a grant program for RI youth (Sen. Lawson).

In addition, one bill supporting our ag sector was added (SB483), four bills with potential impacts on food system businesses were added (SB472, HB6078, HR6133, SB671), and five bills focused on supporting RI’s climate mitigation efforts in ways that could impact food system businesses and activities were added (SB499, SB504, SJR513, SB551, SB591).   Details on all of these bills can be found in the tracker.

Committee Hearings on Food System Bills this Week

Senate Commerce, Tuesday March 14:  SB472 (limits the number of self-service checkout lines in grocery stores)

House Calendar, Tuesday March 14:  HB5264-A (extends COVID moratorium and establishes an outdoor dining act)

House State Gov’t and Elections, Tuesday March 14:  3 bills focused on improving the effectiveness of the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) – HB5779, HB5966, HB6034

Senate Environment & Ag, Wednesday March 15: SB198 (limits siting of new aquaculture leases on the Sakonnet River)

House Health & Human Services, Wednesday March 15:  HB5557, permits and legalizes the sale of raw milk.

House Municipal Gov’t & Housing, Thursday March 16:  HB5950, withdraws certain farm, forest or open space property from being developed for renewable energy;  HB5947, exempts from taxation the real, tangible and personal property of micro-businesses (less than 10 employees); 

HB5945, changes the process of energy facility siting to include more community and public participation and decision-making.

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.