When the 2019 General Assembly session began in early January, we had high hopes that this would be a banner year for the environment and public health. We had spent the previous four months working with stakeholders from around the state to put together a plan to reduce single-use plastic pollution. We had a commitment from the Governor to fight the climate crisis by supporting mandatory and enforceable carbon emissions reductions across the three largest sectors of Rhode Island’s economy.
Advocating for environmental issues in the Rhode Island General Assembly is a complicated process that requires persistence, patience and creative approaches. Economic growth and job creation - not the environment - are often the first concerns on the minds of lawmakers.
You never know what you might run into when activists descend on the statehouse for the Environment Council of Rhode Island’s (ECRI) annual Lobby Day.
Last Wednesday, I was greeted in the rotunda by a group of our allies in the Energize Rhode Island coalition wearing snorkels to demonstrate the kind of gear we’ll all need if we don’t fight the sea level rise that is resulting from Climate Change.
Earlier this month, the Florida legislature adjourned for the session, and this year water did get the attention and funding it deserved. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) from the 2016 legislative session:
Amendment 1 Funding Passes