Governor signs 183 bills, including legislation expanding access to contraceptive care
Vetoes three laws
PROVIDENCE, RI - Governor Gina M. Raimondo this evening signed and vetoed 188 bills. She vetoed three laws (five bills), including the so-called Peter Falk bill, a bill requiring sellers of real estate disclose to potential buyers if the premises were used for marijuana cultivation and a bill related to surplus line insurance.
Among the bills signed are three pieces of legislation expanding access to women's health care:
• H 7625 SUB A/S 2529 SUB A requires health insurers to provide a full year of access to contraceptive care; • H 7002 SUB A/H 7002 SUB A removes barriers to safe, affordable mastectomies; and • S 2531 SUB A as amended allows pregnant minors to access prenatal care without parental consent.
Governor Raimondo also signed the mental health parity bill (S 2540 SUB A as amended) that she first put her support behind in this year's State of the State address. This bill will require insurance companies to cover mental health services the same way they cover other chronic conditions such as diabetes.
The Governor wrote in her veto letter of the surplus lines insurance legislation (H 7909 SUB A), "This is a well-intentioned bill that is intended to help local insurance agents and consumers. However, I have heard from insurance brokers, carriers, and some local agents that the timeframe allowed in this legislation might be too long. After consultation with the legislature, I have decided that the bill needs additional work. I am committed to working with the General Assembly in the next session to achieve the intended goals of the legislation in a better format while protecting against unintended consequences."
In vetoing the Peter Falk bill (H 8352 as amended/S 2421 as amended), Governor Raimondo acknowledged the good intentions of the bill which aimed to reduce elder abuse, but noted concerns raised by senior advocates. Maureen Maigret, Chair of the Aging in the Community Subcommittee of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council; Meg Underwood, Rhode Island Senior Center Directors' Association; Kathy McKeon, Catholic Social Services; and Kathy Heren, Rhode Island's Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Elder advocates and advocates for Rhode Islanders with disabilities along with the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospital are concerned that there was not sufficient engagement in crafting this legislation and cite many potential unintended consequences for Rhode Island. Governor Raimondo is committed to working with advocates and legislators next year to pass a version of the bill that better protects Rhode Island's most vulnerable seniors. Her veto message is available here.
The Rhode Island ACLU, the Rhode Island Associate of REALTORS and the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition all wrote to the Governor requesting a veto of H 8354/S 2442. The Governor's veto message is available here.
A full list of bills transmitted today will be released by the Governor's Office tomorrow. There is no additional legislation awaiting Governor Raimondo's action.