General Assembly Opens 2020 Legislative Session

(1.7) A worker puts the finishing touches on some much needed renovations performed during the recess. (Apparently rain was coming through the skylight in the Senate chamber.) Technology also needed updating. According to the ProJo,

“Both chambers’ sound systems have been improved with new speakers and microphones. A new hearing loop system, which transmits sound electronically to t-coil hearing aids and all cochlear implants, has been installed in both chambers, making Rhode Island the first state capitol in the country to have both of its legislative chambers and its public galleries equipped with permanent large area hearing loops,” according to David Abell, a volunteer hearing loop advocate with the state office of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Lawmakers will return to work at 4pm, Tuesday, going into session following a 3pm  prayer ceremony in the rotunda. (What Would Roger Do?)

To watch:

The opening-day House session will be broadcast live by Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1013, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Verizon Channel 34.

The Senate session will air immediately afterward. Both sessions will also be live-streamed at

And kudos to whoever is making the aesthetic decisions regarding interior decor. No big changes that I can see, but a fresh coat of paint has it all glowing. I particularly love the color palette in the Senate chamber with its ivory, foam green, and gold.

As to what goes on inside this beautiful building: Learn how you can get involved when Common Cause Rhode Island holds its first event of 2020, “Demystifying Democracy: I’m just a Bill (Held for Further Study)” on Thursday,  January 23rd. We will write this up again closer to the date. But why wait, go register now.

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