Senate OKs Sen. Lauria’s bill to include climate change in economic planning

 

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Pamela J. Lauria to help ensure that climate change, rising seas and coastal resiliency are considered as the state makes its economic development plans.

The legislation (2024-S 2043A) adds data about climate change, sea level rise and coastal resiliency to the list of matters that should be considered by Rhode Island Commerce and the Division of Planning as part of the creation of the state’s long-term economic development vision and policy and strategic planning.

Accordingly, the bill also adds the directors of the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council to the Economic Development Planning Council convened by each governor.

“Our changing climate and the rising seas are a reality with profound effects on our future here in Rhode Island. When we are planning any aspect of that future, particularly something as far-reaching as our economic aspirations and strategies, we have to take climate change into account. We need to consider where we are putting our investments, whether and how they will stand up to the changes that are already happening and that we know will be advancing, and how we can make investments that not only withstand these changes, but put Rhode Island in a position to thrive,” said Senator Lauria (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence). “As the Ocean State, resiliency is critical to our economy, and it should always be considered in any economic planning activities.”

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Jennifer Boylan (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence) has introduced companion legislation (2024-H 7246). The Senate bill is cosponsored by Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham), Sen. Bridget Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, South Kingstown), Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield), Senate Majority Whip Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence), Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), Sen. Jacob Bissaillon (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Sen. Robert Britto (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).

 

 

The busy summer travel season gets underway this Memorial Day weekend. The head of the TSA says this will be the busiest summer travel season on record, with over 18-million people expected to be screened from now to May 29th. A spokesperson for Triple-A says they're forecasting nearly 44-million travelers from now through Monday, which would exceed pre-pandemic levels.        A bipartisan border bill is failing to clear the Senate for a second time in months. Senators voted 43 to 50 to tank the bill this afternoon negotiated in the fall by Democratic and Republican senators. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put the bill on the floor for a vote after it was blocked in February by Republicans.        U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is pushing back against recent claims made by former President Trump against the Justice Department and FBI. In a Truth Social post earlier this week, Trump said President Biden's DOJ "authorized the FBI to use deadly force" during the 2022 raid of Mar-a-Lago. On Thursday, Garland said "that allegation is false and extremely dangerous."        Hundreds of Harvard graduates are protesting the university's commencement ceremony after some pro-Palestinian demonstrators weren't allowed to receive their degrees. The graduates walked out of commencement this morning, chanting "Let them walk" in reference to the 13 undergraduates who the Harvard Corporation voted to bar from graduation. The protesters marched to the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, where they staged a "Peoples' Commencement."        Supporters of research into long COVID are criticizing the Biden administration over its lack of enough funding in its NIH budget request. The Long COVID Campaign put out a press release calling on congressional leaders to set aside at least one-point-two million dollars for research. It says that despite long COVID's impact on the U.S. healthcare system and economy, the White House's budget request didn't prioritize research into the disease.        Police say the detective who arrested world number one golfer Scottie Scheffler made a mistake. Scheffler was charged with assault of a police officer as he was attempting to enter the PGA Championship in Kentucky last week. Today, Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said the officer erred in not turning on his body camera, but the investigation into Scheffler is ongoing and the charges remain for now.