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Legislation in RI - 2004

State House

This page focuses on all legislations pertaining to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing issues or concerns. Before you read further, you may want to sign up to create your own account with Office of the Secretary of State's Legislation Tracking Website. (Please click here) The Secretary of State's Legislation Tracking Website will do many things for you. It will update you on any activities on specific bills that you are monitoring such as hearing dates, passages, etc. You could search or browse any bills. Any updates will automatically send you an email of notification so you can look up your account at their website and be prepared for whatever you want to do in these legislative proceedings.

Also, you may want to check where each bill stands at this point. Please click here to go to RI General Assembly Bill Status System. Make sure to put all 4 digits next to "Bills:" and click on "enter" button on the screen. (not on the keyboard).

Current Legislations (Legislative Session in 2004):

 

1) Mandated Hearing Aid Legislation:

House Bill 7488A PDF Document

  • House passed the original bill of 7488, "coverage for twenty percent (20%) of the cost of or four hundred dollars ($400.00), whichever is smaller" on May 5, 2004.
  • Amended on June 23, 2004 by Senate Health and Human Service committee to delete, "coverage for twenty percent (20%) of the cost of or four hundred dollars ($400.00), whichever is smaller" and to insert "coverage for one thousand dollars ($1,000) per individual hearing aid, per ear, every three (3) years, for children under the age of eighteen (18) years of age, covered as a dependent by the policy holder and shall also provide"
  • House passed Sub A in concurrence.
  • Status: This law is in effect without the Governor's signature on July 9, 2004 (PASSED).

Senate Bill 2279A PDF Document

  • Amended on June 8, 2004 to delete, "coverage for twenty percent (20%) of the cost of or four hundred dollars ($400.00), whichever is smaller" and to insert "coverage for one thousand dollars ($1,000) per individual hearing aid, per ear, every three (3) years, for children under the age of eighteen (18) years of age, covered as a dependent by the policy holder and shall also provide".
  • House passed Sub A in concurrence.
  • Status: This law is in effect without the Governor's signature on July 9, 2004 (PASSED).
    RI CDHH Position: It's better than "nothing". RI CDHH is not satisfied with S2279A and 7488A as they will not help anyone who is older than 18 years old. RI CDHH intends to continue working on expanding horizon to cover people who are older than 18 years old and have hearing loss. Please click below for RI CDHH's testimony.

- February 11, 2004 - H7488 PDF Document
- April 28, 2004 - S2279 PDF Document
- June 8, 2004 - S2279/H7488 PDF Document

 

 

2) Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Committee

House Bill 7547 PDF Document

  • Languages restructured in the General Laws for ATEL. No major change in ATEL's program or committee.
  • Add,"The department of human services shall establish, administer and promote a program to provide telephone access to the text of newspapers program to residents who are blind, deaf-blind, visually impaired, or reading impaired with a single party telephone line. The department of human services with the assistance of the state advisory council on the blind shall also develop the appropriate rules, regulations and service standards necessary to implement the provisions of this subsection."
  • Add,"The commission shall collect from the telecommunications service providers the amounts of the surcharge collected from their subscribers and remit to the department of human services fifty thousand dolla rs ($50,000) annually commencing in fiscal year 2005 for the adaptive telephone equipment loan program and the telephone access to the text of newspapers program."
  • Status: Still in the House Corporation committee. No hearing date is set yet. This bill is dead.

House Bill 8527 PDF Document

  • Retrieved from the Senate that passed the legislation, please see Senate Bill 2687aa.
  • House passed as amended on June 24.
  • Senate passed as amended in concurrence on June 26.
  • Status: This law is in effect without the Governor's signature on July 7, 2004 (PASSED).

Senate Bill 2687aa PDF Document

  • Senate passed on the floor. Now, it is in the House known as HB 8527.
  • Amended, "The commission shall collect from the telecommunications service providers the amounts of the surcharge collected from their subscribers and remit to the department of human services fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) annually commencing in fiscal year 2005 for the 14
    adaptive telephone equipment loan program and the telephone access to the text of newspapers program. The surcharge referenced hereunder shall be generated from existing funding mechanisms and shall not be generated as a result of any new funding mechanisms charged to each residence and business telephone access line or trunk in the state, including PBX trunks and centrex equivalent trunks and each service line or trunk, or upon each user interface number or extension number or similarly identifiable line, trunk or path to or from a digital network. "
  • Status: This law is in effect without the Governor's signature on July 3, 2004 (PASSED).

RI CDHH Position: Support

 

 

3) Separation of Powers

Senate Bill 3048 PDF Document
Senate Bill 3048A PDF Document

  • Impact on the Board of Interpreters for the Deaf.
  • All appointments were made by the Governor with the advise and consent of the Senate.
  • Senate passed as amended on June 16.
  • Status: It is currently in the House Separation of Power committee.

Senate Bill 3049 PDF Document
Senate Bill 3049A PDF Document

  • Impact on the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • All appointments shall be appointed by the Governor with the advise and consent of the Senate (Sub A).
  • Senate passed as amended on June 16.
  • Status: It is currently in the House Separation of Power committee.

RI CDHH Position: Support on SB 3049A. Please click here for RI CDHH's testimony (prior to SUB A).

 

 

4) Appropriations for FY2004 and FY2005

House Bill 7138 PDF Document

  • Revised appropriations for FY2004 on all state agencies including RI CDHH ending June 30, 2004.

House Bill 8219 PDF Document
House Bill 8219A (combined with H-7138) PDF Document

  • Appropriations for FY2005 on all state agencies including RI CDHH ending June 30, 2005.
  • Passed in House as Sub A on June 18.
  • Passed in Senate as Sub A on June 24 in concurrence.
  • Status: Vetoed by the Governor on July 1st but Governor's veto was overridden by the House on July 23rd.

RI CDHH Position: N/A

 

 

5) Rhode Island School for the Deaf Board of Trustees

Senate Bill 2161 PDF Document

  • Add, " The board of trustees shall be comprised of nine (9) individuals, not less than five (5) of whom shall be persons who are deaf and hard of hearing and as long as the Vision Services Program is located at the School for the Deaf, at least one (1) of whom shall be a parent, grandparent or guardian of a visually impaired student."
  • Status: This bill is dead.

RI CDHH Position: N/A. The Vision Services Programs will be transferred to the Paul V. Sherlock Center for Disabilities effective in the summer of 2004.

 

 

6) Honoring Richard Lewis Clarkson, Retired from the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.

House Bill 8493 PDF Document

Senate Bill 3080 PDF Document

RI CDHH Position: N/A

 

 

7) House Resolution extending congratulations to Miss Gemma A. Guinguing, being selected "Miss Deaf Rhode Island".

House Bill 7257 PDF Document

RI CDHH Position: N/A PDF Document

 

 

Letters of Support

- Medicaid Buy-In PDF Document