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Friday, May 26, 2017

Opt-Out Voter Registration Makes it out of the Judiciary Committee!

On May 24, the House Committee on the Judiciary passed H5702 Sub A . This bill allows voters to be registered to vote automatically or to update their addresses automatically when they apply for a driver’s license, unless they opt out.
The League of Women Voters of RI has been lobbying for this action since it was first introduced at the behest of the RI Secretary of State two years ago.
TAKE ACTION TODAY: Call the offices of your state representative and of House Speaker Matiello, to urge a floor vote in the House. Also call your state senator and Erin Prata Lynch, the chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, to urge a positive vote on S770, the matching Senate bill. It has to be voted out of the Senate Judiciary committee with a positive recommendation before it can be heard on the floor of the Senate. All this has to happen quickly before the end of the legislative session, so we all need to act NOW. If you don’t know who your state representative or senator is, you can find out at https://vote.sos.ri.gov/

Monday, March 27, 2017

House 5343

Right to Abortion in Rhode Island

The Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on reproductive rights issues on  Wednesday, March 29, at the rise of the House (around 4:30 p.m.) in the House Lounge.

The most important bill on the agenda is the Reproductive Health Care Act, House Bill 5343, which puts into RI law the right to abortion. There was an article in the latest State Voter about this legislation (Download the issue at the LWVRI website, www.lwvri.org.)

The issue as hand is that there is nothing to guarantee a right to abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Momentum is strong for passing the bill this year, but it must be passed in Committee, and then allowed onto the floor of the House for a vote by the full House. Thus, it is important that the Judiciary Committee hear our voices as well as the House leadership—Speaker Mattiello—who has the power to allow or deny all bills to reach the full House.

What you can do:  
  • Come to the State House on Wednesday, March 29, and sign up to testify,
  • Sign in on sheets placed outside the hearing room indicating your position support/oppose and whether you intend to speak or not.  You can also submit written testimony.
  • Or you can just sign up, indicate your support or opposition to a bill, and not speak or submit written testimony.

Planned Parenthood is also holding a Lobby Day session at 3:00 p.m., on March 29, where you will be encouraged to speak to your legislator, and perhaps members of the Judiciary Committee, where the bills are being heard.

     PP will provide quick training including script, etc. and guide people to appropriate legislators

     3:30 p.m.  People can start signing up for testifying.

There will also be other members of the RI Coalition for Reproductive Justice, who can be helpful.

The League supports two of the bills on the Committee agenda:

  • House Bill No. 5343 - by Ajello, et al - Puts into RI law the legal right to an abortion
  • House Bill No. 5830 - by Handy, et al - Repeal the unconstitutional and unenforceable "spousal notification" law.

The League is opposed to:

•     House Bill No. 5100 - by Corvese, et al - would make certain abortion procedures illegal (so-called "dismemberment abortion")

     House Bill No. 5158- by Felella - would prohibit abortion as means of sex-selection.

     House Res. No. 5399 – by McLaughlin - Would recognize a fetus as a human life at the existence of a heartbeat
To view the content of the above bills, go to the RI State website:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Legislation/  and insert the bill number under Bill Status.  There is also a place to click for Committee Memberships.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

ACTION You can take

Want to keep up the momentum from the marches?  MoveOn, Indivisible and  the Working Families Party suggest that we all do the following:

Write YOUR congressional representative or senators to tell them what issues you think are most important and what action you want.  Send one card or letter per issue, so staff can make piles supporting each issue.  Better yet, call the representative's office to weigh in on specific bills.  You will probably talk to a courteous staffer who will take down your information.   Congress.gov will tell you what bills have been introduced and also let you find contact numbers for your representatives.  Concentrate on YOUR OWN representative or senators.  Keep the pressure on, as long as it is needed. Talk to your friends and neighbors.  Urge everyone to keep alert!