Immigrant and workers' rights advocates celebrated a victory in Rhode Island this week with the announcement that State Rep. Peter Palumbo's anti-immigrant bill, closely based on Arizona's widely
criticized SB 1070, would not get a hearing. Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox came out in opposition to Palumbo's bill, and decided to table it -- the proposal was drafted roughly ten days ago, just before the end of the state's legislative session.
Last fall, Rhode Island Health Department Director David Gifford missed a key press briefing about the state’s effort to combat the H1N1 flu pandemic. He wasn’t shirking his duty — in fact, Rhode Island received national praise for its H1N1 response, and ranked first among states in the rate of vaccination. On the contrary, Dr. Gifford was doing what he advised all Rhode Islanders to do: he stayed home that day because he was feeling sick.
The choice of whether or not to establish
high-risk insurance pools represents the first major decision that
states are facing with the March 2010 passage of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While twenty-nine
governors -- 22 Democrats and 7 Republicans -- decided to create the
pools themselves, most conservative governors failed to take advantage
of the option to shape health care for their constituents and instead
just kicked the issue back to the federal government, which will
establish its own high-risk insurance pool in states that fail to take
States and local governments may now use federal E-rate funds to
provide the general public access to schools’ and public libraries’
Internet facilities, according to a recent Federal Communications Commission order.
Schools receiving funding under the E-rate program may extend their
services to the general public during non-operating hours, that is,
after school, weekends, holidays, and summer vacation.
The Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to override a gubernatorial veto of important electoral reform legislation that will allow voter pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds. Rhode Island now becomes the fifth state, and the fourth in three years, to allow minors to pre-register, a process where their voter registration automatically becomes active upon turning 18.