As we head into budget season, One Rhode Island has announced plans to hold a news conference this Thursday, February 22, at 11 am, at the Federal Hill House, 9 Courtland St., Providence, to outline its 2007 legislative priorities. "Coalition urges expansions, not cuts, to vital work support programs," is one of the subheadlines on a news release. Gaining legislative support for such efforts promises to be more difficult this year, though, because of the structural deficit facing the state.
In other General Assembly news,
-- Senator Rhoda Perry and Representative Thomas Slater have submitted a bill to make medical marijuana permanent in Rhode Island, something that Speaker William Murphy has already backed.
-- In a flip on the tort reform pushed in recent years by Governor Carcieri and medical groups, Senator Charles Levesque has filed a bill that "would require all hospitals in Rhode Island to participate in a comprehensive program to increase patient safety by reducing medical errors."
-- Freshman Representative Nick Mattiello has introduced a House resolution that would establish a commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of RI school districts.