Happy New Year (fiscal year that is!) The Rhode Island General Assembly went into recess for the upcoming holiday with several issues left on the table. Their major concern was passing a budget for the new year which begins today. The Governor has now signed that budget, but the session is not over. The Assembly will likely come back either in late July or September to vote on bills that they have reconciled with the Senate, and the Senate will do the same.
One of those important bills is legislation that we have championed through the Coalition for Water Security, the Water Use and Efficiency Act. The House and Senate are in agreement, but each version of the bill has to pass through one more time before it is signed by the Governor.
The CRMC is on better legal footing due to the Senate providing advice and consent for the Governor's previous appointments of four sitting members and a fifth new member. The CRMC debate is not over, however, since this is a temporary measure designed to shore up the council. It still leaves several vacancies and an undetermined process for moving forward.
A bill we have been watching that would establish a saltwater fishing license is also up for consideration in the Senate. Read more about all these bills and those that did pass this session on our legislative agenda page, and stay tuned for more!