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Legislation in RI - 2005

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 2005):

1) Separation of Power - RI CDHH

2) Separation of Power - RI CDHH

3) Separation of Power - Board of the Examiners for Interpreters for the Deaf

4) Separation of Power - Board of the Examiners for Interpreters for the Deaf

  • SPONSOR: Rep. Coderre, Rep. Crowley , Rep. Lima, Rep. Almeida, and Rep. Gemma
  • House Bill 6171Baa PDF Document
  • SECTION 4 and SECTION 5- Requires all appointments shall be made by the director of the department of health and authorizes the board to elect from among its members the chairperson, vice chairperson and such other officers as it may deem necessary.
    Introduced on March 8th then, referred to House Separation of Powers Committee. Then passed Sub A.
  • Status: Senate and House passed the Sub B but the bill was vetoed by the Governor on June 23, 2005.
    Sub B - The director of the Department of Health has no longer authority to appoint the members to serve on the board but all appointments must be made by the Governor and consent of the Senate. The board may elect from among its members for chairperson, vice chairperson, and such other officers as it may deem necessary.
    RI CDHH Position: N/A.

5) Separation of Power - Board of the Examiners for Interpreters for the Deaf

6) Separation of Power - Board of the Examiners for Interpreters for the Deaf

7) Mandated Hearing Aid Coverage

  • SPONSOR: Rep. Jacquard, Rep. Lewiss, and Rep. Schadone
  • House Bill 5742A PDF Document
  • The bill is to include adults - 20% of the cost or $400 whichever is smaller
    Sub A to reduce from $1000 to $400 for under 18 and eliminate 20% of the hearing aid costs. This means $400 is mandated to be paid by insurances for anyone who needs hearing aids. And the optional rider coverage would pay the difference of the hearing aid costs.
  • Status: This bill is passed without the Governor's signature. The law will become effective on January 1, 2006.
  • RI CDHH Position: Support this bill.
    Please click here for RI CDHH's testimony on March 23rd (House Hearing).
    RI CDHH's testimony on April 14th, please click here (House Hearing).
    RI CDHH's testimony on June 29, please click here (Senate Hearing).

8) Mandated Hearing Aid Coverage

  • SPONSOR: Senator Stephen D. Alves
  • Senate Bill 1195 PDF Document
  • This bill is similar to HB 5742 Sub A to reduce from $1000 to $400 for under 18 and eliminate 20% of the hearing aid costs. This means $400 is mandated to be paid by insurances for anyone who needs hearing aids. And the optional rider coverage would pay the difference of the hearing aid costs.
    Status: This bill is passed without the Governor's signature. The law will become effective on January 1, 2006.
  • RI CDHH Position: Support this bill.
    RI CDHH's testimony on June 29, please click here (Senate Hearing).

9) Enhanced Language of Law on Board of the Examiners for the Interpreters for the Deaf

  • SPONSOR: Senator Kevin A. Breene
  • Senate Bill 0780 PDF Document
  • The changes proposed are primarily to remove"archaic" language and replace with language consistent with contemporary practice.
  • Status: Introduced on February 17th and then, referred to Senate Health and Human Committee.
    Result after Hearing (3-2-2005): The Committee recommended measure be held for further study.
  • RI CDHH Position: Support this bill. Please click here for RI CDHH's testimony on March 2nd.

10) Enhanced Language of Law on Board of the Examiners for the Interpreters for the Deaf

11) A Special House Commission Be Created to Study the Health Hazards of Excess Noise Levels in Public Places

  • SPONSOR: Rep. Jacquard, Rep. Lewiss, and Rep. Schadone
  • House Bill 5741aaPDF Document
  • A special house commission be created to study the health hazard of Excess Noise Levels in Public Places. The commission is to seek the elimination of distractions in the area where the noise level is excessive. The chairperson of RI CDHH or its designee is one of 7 members on the commission.
  • Status: Introduced on February 17th and then, referred to House Health, Education, & Welfare Committee.
    Result after House Floor (3-9-2005): Passed on Floor with new amendment, add three more members from CDHH. The bill will be sent to the Senate.
  • RI CDHH Position: Support this bill. Please click here for RI CDHH's testimony on March 2nd.

12) A Special Legislative Commission To Study the Newly Adopted Provisions for Early Intervention Under the Federal Disabilities Education Act of 2004, 108-446.

  • SPONSOR: Rep. Slater, Rep. Naughton, Rep. Williams, Rep. Dennigan, and Rep. E Coderre
  • House Bill 5740aa PDF Document
  • A newly formed commission will study Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, P.L. 108-446 and recommend any changes and amendments to the current state laws.
    Result after House Floor (3-9-2005): Passed on Floor as amended. (Still without two representatives of CDHH or Deaf org.).]
  • Status: Senate Committee recommended passage as amended on June 29, 2005. It is being scheduled for vote on Senate floor.
    RI CDHH Position: Support this bill provided that the representative from the RI CDHH must be included to cover the concerns of deafness. Please click here for RI CDHH's testimony on March 2nd.

13) All Televised Political Advertisements Must Be Closed-Captioning.

14) The Corliss Institute Congratulated by the State House of Representatives.

  • SPONSOR: Rep. Fox and Rep. Watson
  • House Bill 6527 PDF Document - (It can be found in the 5th Page)
  • The House of Representatives recognized the Corliss Institute's 20 Year Milestone of Service.
  • Status: Introduced on May 24th and passed.
  • RI CDHH Position: Support this bill.

15) Rhode Island School for the Deaf Board of Trustees

  • SPONSOR: Senator Issa
  • Senate Bill 32 PDF Document
  • Add, " 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: The Senate read and passed. Now, it is referred to House Health, Education, Welfare (H.E.W.) Committee.
    RI CDHH Position: N/A. The Vision Services Programs is already transferred to the Paul V. Sherlock Center for Disabilities effective in the summer of 2004.