2015-02-12 / Around Town

General Assembly Highlights

nHearing to raise minimum wage

The House Labor Committee took testimony on legislation to increase the Rhode Island minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

nPhase-out of disposable plastic store bags

Legislation introduced sets a two-year plan to end the use of disposable plastic checkout bags by retail establishments. The bill would require large stores (with annual gross retail sales of $5 million or more) to stop using the bags by Jan. 1, 2016. All other stores would have until Jan. 1, 2017, to end their use of the bags.

nTerminally ill use of experimental drugs

While other legislatures around the nation consider “right to die” laws, a bill was introduced to allow terminally ill individuals who have exhausted their conventional treatment options to request and obtain experimental drugs that have not yet received federal approval. The intent, said the sponsor, is to give some hope to the terminally ill.

nRenewal of vanity plates

Rhode Island motorists with vanity plates pay twice the license plate fee every time they renew their license – the standard renewal rate ($60 for cars, $34 for motorcycles) and an additional, equal amount because of the vanity plate. Legislation has been introduced to eliminate the extra fee when the license plates are renewed.

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