State releases Residential Guide to Going Solar

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The State of Rhode Island has released the RI Residential Guide to Going Solar, a handbook for homeowners to help them navigate the many choices involved with installing a roof-mounted solar array.

"The availability of state programs and federal tax credits makes it an ideal time for Rhode Island homeowners to explore their options and find out if solar is right for them," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "This guide will help them understand the process for installing a residential solar array and make informed decisions."

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Governor Raimondo Announces Co-Chairs and Members of Task Force to Tackle Plastics Pollution

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced the leadership, composition, and first meeting of the Governor's Task Force to Tackle Plastics. Established by the Tackling Plastics Executive Order [] signed by Governor Raimondo in July, the group will develop a host of options to reduce plastic pollution in Rhode Island's waters and reliance on single-use plastics. The Executive Order targets single-use disposables such as shopping bags, bottles, cups and straws - along with items like six-pack rings and balloons - that become unsightly, dangerous, and all-too-familiar litter on land and in coastal waters. The first meeting will be held on Friday, October 5, at 1 p.m., Room 300 at DEM (235 Promenade Street Providence).

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Senate OKs two bills to use Medicaid funds to house homeless

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved two bills aimed at creating innovative programs to use Medicaid funds to provide housing and other services to the homeless to provide stability in their lives and reduce expenses related to the overuse of emergency rooms.

“Housing the homeless might be one of the most effective and efficient investments we can make for public health. People who are homeless struggle to care for their health because their daily efforts to find shelter take precedence over activities like health maintenance. Getting people into housing removes that burden and allows for the freedom to get connected with programs and employment opportunities, while directly engaging in the most effective preventative care mechanism we have, a roof. Quite simply, medical care is less expensive when aligned with supportive housing,” said Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), who is the sponsor of one of the bills. In 2013, he co-chaired a Senate commission that studied ways to divert those seeking treatment for behavioral health issues away from emergency rooms and into more appropriate and less-costly treatment settings.


Miller bill would require fossil fuel plant developers to invest in renewable energy

STATE HOUSE – Sen. Joshua Miller has introduced legislation to help Rhode Island reach its renewable energy goals by requiring developers of new fossil fuel-burning power plants to also invest in renewable energy.

The legislation (2018-S 2508) would require any applicant to the Energy Facilities Siting Board who seeks to build a power plant that uses fossil fuel as its primary or secondary fuel to also build or invest in renewable energy generation in Rhode Island. The cost of construction or investment must be equal to at least 20 percent of the cost of the fossil fuel facility. Alternatively, the developer could pay an amount equal to at least 25 percent of the fossil fuel facility’s cost to the state’s Renewable Energy Development Fund.


Media Advisory: Tanning ban for minors scheduled for committee vote

STATE HOUSE – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has scheduled votes on several bills tomorrow, including one that would prohibit minors from using tanning facilities.

The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:30 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State House.



Legislators to sign onto assault weapon ban bill Tuesday

STATE HOUSE – An event has been scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 3:30 p.m. in the State House rotunda during which members of the House and the Senate can sign on as cosponsors of legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Rhode Island. The bills’ primary sponsors will be Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and Rep. Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren). Members of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence will participate. The media is invited.



Miller bill would create pilot program tapping Medicaid to house the chronically homeless

STATE HOUSE – Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller has reintroduced legislation that would launch a pilot program testing the effectiveness of using Medicaid waiver funds to treat chronic homelessness.

Senator Miller’s proposal (2018-S 2129), called the Rhode Island Pathways Project, will be heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services today at the rise of Senate session.