Dear District 28 Neighbors,

As your State Senator in District 28 (Cranston/Providence), I am writing to update you on progress I have made during the last legislative session.

As the appointed Senate representative on Governor Gina Raimondo’s Task Force on Overdose Prevention & Intervention, I was able to help propose and develop legislation and policies related to addiction, prevention, treatment, and recovery. Many of these bills passed into law, including the Opioid Stewardship Fund, limitations on first-time opioid prescriptions, a requirement for the posting of opioid warning signs at all Rhode Island pharmacies, and requirements for all schools to provide and maintain naloxone (Narcan). I was also the sponsor of S139, which helps streamline and expedite access to recovery coaches and clarifies procedures for notifying family members and/or emergency contacts when someone is hospitalized for overdose, addiction, or mental health emergencies.

As a member of the Health Insurance Market Stability Workgroup (MSW), I participated in a process that lead to the recommendation of Article 11 (formerly Article 14), which passed as part of Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget. This package of legislation includes a reinsurance program and a shared responsibility payment (individual mandate requiring insurance for all Rhode Islanders). The MSW also recommended passage of my bill S738 Sub A, which would have codified many components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the ten essential benefits and protection of access to health coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. This bill passed the Senate but did not pass the House. This legislation continues to be one of my highest priorities, and I will introduce similar legislation during the 2020 session.

During the 2019 legislative session, I sponsored a number of other bills to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders.  The Reproductive Privacy Act (H5125 Sub B) passed into law, preserving the current protections for reproductive rights, including those codified by Roe v Wade. As Chair of the Health & Human Services Committee, I am honored to have helped move this historic bill to the Senate floor, after it was transferred into committee from Senate Judiciary. As a member of Governor Gina Raimondo’s Task Force to Tackle Plastics, I will continue to advocate for a statewide plastic bag ban, which passed the Senate in 2019. During the 2020 legislative session, I plan to propose legislation to ban the use of styrofoam in Rhode Island.

Unfortunately, there are many important bills that did not pass, and I will continue to work on these issues and move toward progress in the areas of healthcare and homelessness, gun safety, climate change, education and improvement of Providence Schools, consumer protection, advancement of Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program and legalization of recreational marijuana use, and the environment.

 As we move forward toward the 2020 legislative session, I thank you for your continued support.

Please feel free to contact me via the form on my website, www.joshuamiller.org, or via email at sen-miller@rilegislature.gov. I look forward to hearing your comments and concerns.

Sincerely,                                                       
Senator Josh Miller
District 28, Cranston/Providence