Updates

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Now that the General Assembly session has ended, I want to update you on the work I’ve been doing on your behalf.  I am honored to serve as your State Representative.

I will continue to collaborate, work tirelessly and successfully move policy issues that are important to the people of Middletown and Jamestown.

Like you, I believe government needs to change. That’s why I voted to:

  • Require legislators to abide by Code of Ethics
  • Establish on-line voter registration
  • Enact comprehensive campaign finance reform for transparency
  • Eliminate the Master Lever

We are blessed to have so many farms in Middletown and Jamestown. They have good working relationships in our community.  That’s why I:

  • Spoke and voted against the so-called FARM ACT( which farmers did NOT draft) that would allow non-agricultural events such as festivals and concerts on farms without local zoning approval.

I will continue to be thoughtful and deliberative as an INDEPENDENT VOICE for Jamestown and Middletown.

I welcome your feedback and input. Please call me at 423-0444, email me at DRJamestown@cox.net

MAKING SENIOR ISSUES PRIORITY:

  • Voted to provide tax breaks to Seniors Social Security and pensions
  • Restored No-Fare RIPTA bus passes to low-income seniors and disabled people
  • Sponsored the bill to increase funding for all senior centers and programs based on municipality’s 65+ populations

“Seniors and older adults have a strong advocate at the State House,” says Rep. Ruggiero, “I’m laser-focused on senior policy issues like my “AGING IN PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY” legislation to help seniors stay in their homes and enjoy the socialization and lunches at senior centers.”

PROTECTING R.I. FAMILIES

  • Sponsor and voted for the Protect Rhode Island Families Act prohibiting gun possession by domes abusers convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes

“This is not a gun control issue. It’s a common-sense law to protect victims of domestic abuse. It does not infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners”, says Rep. Ruggiero

MENTAL HEALTH A PRIORITY

  • Sponsor of new law that allows police officers to transport a person in a mental health crisis to the hospital for professional treatment.

“A mental health crisis is not a crime. The goal of this law is to divert people from the criminal justice system and get them the mental health treatment they need”, says Rep. Ruggiero.  “This is a collaborative effort with the

mental health community, the police chiefs association, and the public defender’s office.”

SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATE:

  • Sponsor of bill to reduce health care costs for small businesses  by seeking a federal waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to allow sole proprietorships or S corps to be covered in small group and not individual market
  • Sponsor of bill to allow electronic recording of real property and land records to modernize real property law and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island

VETERANS/MILITARY:

  • Voted to give veteran-owned small business a preference in state purchasing process
  • Voted to provide in-state tuition at state schools to active duty and reserve members stationed in Rhode Island.
  • Expanded the eligibility for Gold Star Family license plates to additional family members

As co-chair of the Defense Economy Planning Commission, Rep. Ruggiero works with SENEDIA, the Defense Industry and Dept. of Labor and Training’s Real Jobs RI to continue the economic benefit of the $3.7 billion industry to the state’s economy. Over 30,000 Rhode Islanders work in these high-paying jobs.

ENVIRONMENT & RENEWABLE ENERGY A PRIORITY:

  • Rep. Ruggiero speaks at the signing of her renewable energy legislation

    Sponsor of Renewable Energy Growth law that allows business and homeowners to install solar panels and save on electricity costs

  • Sponsor of law that allows municipalities to negotiate lower electricity prices for business and residents from an electric supplier and provides consumer protection
  • Voted to expand renewable energy net metering program to include hospitals, nonprofits and churches

Representative Ruggiero’s Renewable Energy Laws have helped businesses and homeowners install solar arrays and reduce electricity costs. Her legislation catapulted Rhode Island from the worst in the country to #3 in the country in solar and energy efficiency.  The Green Economy is up 40% with over 14,000 jobs in just a few years.    (pic of me speaking at bill signing)

This year Rep. Deborah Ruggiero was honored to receive:   

  • ADVOCACY AWARD from   Groden Network for Deb’s legislation and advocacy work for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • LEGISLATIVE PARTNER AWARD from RI Parent Info Network for policy work that benefits children and families on healthcare issues and healthcare insurance.
  • LEGISLATIVE LEADER AWARD from Child & Family for fulfilling the promise to foster children by sponsoring legislation to extend the age of foster care from 18 to 21.