Seven bills with potential impacts on our food system were added to the tracker this week. Two of these bills would impact commercial fisheries and aquaculture:
- SB703 – amends the duties of the Marine Fisheries Council (Sen. Sosnowski)
- SB772 – replaces the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) with a state department of coastal resources (Sen. Gu).
Both of these bills already have companion bills in the House.
Two (companion) bills were added to the Equity & Justice track: SB770 (Sen. Euer) and HB6196 (Rep. Alzate) create new requirements for obtaining permits for activities that would have an environmental impact on an environmental justice zone.
Other bills would reclassify certain farm, forest or open space properties that were used as sites for renewable energy (SB708); eliminate the June 30 2023 sunset on the increase in total earnings allowed by partial-unemployment insurance claimants (SB716); and establish a system for recycling beverage containers working with the Dept. of Environmental Management (SB753).
Votes and committee hearings
Senate Calendar, Tues 3/28: Floor vote on SB683/HB5264-A, which extend the moratorium on penalties related to COVID-19 modifications to food businesses to Feb 15, 2024.
House Judiciary, Tues 3/28: Hearing on HB5914, which requires conservation and preservation restrictions to be liberally interpreted in favor of the grants awarded, and on HB6061, which amends provisions on the subdivision of land.
House Municipal Gov’t & Housing, Tues 3/28: Hearing on HB5601, which would allow retail liquor licenses within 200 feet of schools and religious institutions.
Senate Environment & Ag, Wednesday 3/29: Hearing on SB504, which promotes siting of renewable energy on formerly contaminated sites and similar locations; SB684, which defines core forests and protects them from renewable energy developers; and SB770, which sets new requirements for permitting activities with an environmental impact on an environmental justice zone.
House Labor, Wednesday 3/29: Hearing on HB5015, which would allow municipalities to establish their own minimum wage for their employees; HB5181, which would allow employers to pay some minor employees less than the minimum wage; five bills which would raise the minimum wage using differing approaches (HB5588, HB5589, HB5590, HB5928, HB6078); and two bills (HB5707, HB5709) which would increase employee protections.
House Corporations, Thursday 3/30: Hearing on HB5852, which requires a carbon neutrality assessment be made for all solar permit applications, and HB5853, which defines core forests and protects them from renewable energy developers.
House Environment & Natural Resources, Thursday 3/30: Hearing on HB6196, which sets new requirements for permitting activities with an environmental impact on an environmental justice zone.
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.