New Year — New Laws

While you were still struggling with the cork, new laws were automatically coming into effect here in Rhode Island, courtesy of last year’s legislative session. Some notable changes include:

  • No more plastic bags! This law prohibits retailers from making available any single-use plastic checkout bag or any paper checkout bag that is not a reusable or recyclable bag.
  • Minimum wage goes up to $14/hour (up from $13).
  • Juneteenth is now a state holiday.
  • Seventeen-year-olds can vote in a primary election as long as they are registered to vote and will be 18 by the time of the general election.

The Dose has been going on about the evils of single-use plastic bags for years now. This is a happy day.

Other new laws in the areas of health care, landlord/tenant, and housing, are also now in effect. From the ProJo:

In all, the state’s part-time lawmakers passed 915 of the 2,670 measures introduced during the 2023 session that ended in June, including 398 new laws and scores more resolutions and “local” authorizations.

Many resolutions are commemorations, expressions of congratulations and condolences, or declaring [name of month] to be [your disease here] Awareness Month. Let’s look at some of those Resolutions:

  • House Resolution Proclaiming June 13th To Be “Professional Wrestling Day” In The State Of Rhode Island. (I think we know who was behind that.)
  • House Resolution Celebrating The 2nd Annual “RI Craft Beer Week’ In The State Of Rhode Island On March 3rd Through March 12th Of 2023.
  • House Resolution Congratulating the Legendary Viola Davis On Becoming An Egot (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, And Tony) Awards Winner.
  • Senate Resolution Recognizing the Celebration Of the Lunar New Year “the Year of the Rabbit.”

The 2024 legislative session begins Tuesday, January 2.


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