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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The legislative session is winding down and Rhode Island lawmakers are set to take up multiple bills on Thursday.
The Senate will take up the $14 billion state budget, which includes funding for the state’s housing crisis, education, and business development. The budget covers the 2024 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Last week, the House approved an additional $31 million to support housing development, including $4 million for transit-oriented development and $4.3 million to support infrastructure needed for housing development, such as road and utility connections.
The Senate will also vote on legislation that would reform a state law that protects police officers being investigated for misconduct.
The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, more commonly known as LEOBOR, lays the groundwork for what information can and can’t be shared with the public when an officer is disciplined.
The existing law also allows officers a hearing before a three-member of panel of active or retired police officers before discipline beyond two days of unpaid suspension can be imposed.
The new legislation expands that panel to five members, including a representative from the Nonviolence Institute and a retired judge appointed by the chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
A bill that would ban styrofoam containers and plastic stirrers in restaurants as an effort to reduce litter will also be heard.
Fairs, farmers markets, hospitals, nursing homes, “meals-on-wheels” type programs, or charitable organizations that provide food for free will still be allowed to pack food in foam containers.
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