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This week in the General Assembly, constitutional amendments were proposed in the Senate, and the House of Representatives welcomed its newest number, Rep. Michael Morin, D-Woonsocket, who was sworn in Tuesday.

New kid on the block

Rep. Michael Morin, D-Woonsocket, was sworn in as a member of the House Tuesday, after winning his district’s Feb. 25 special election. He replaces Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, D-Woonsocket, who left her post in order to serve as mayor of Woonsocket.

Morin has served as the fire marshal and captain of the Woonsocket Fire Department, where he has been a member for 26 years. He earned his degree in fire science from the Community College of Rhode Island after graduating from Woonsocket High School, where his father, George Morin, once served as principal, according to a General Assembly press release.

“I am honored to serve the people of District 49,” Morin said, according to the release. “I plan to work hard to learn quickly, because even though I’m getting here almost halfway through the session, I want my constituents to be fully represented.”


Constitutional considerations

The Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans’ Affairs heard legislation proposing amendments to the Rhode Island Constitution Wednesday.

A joint resolution put forth by Sen. Roger Picard, D-Woonsocket and Cumberland, asks legislators to amend the Constitution to present candidates for governor and lieutenant governor together on the ballot, according to an Assembly press release.

Another joint resolution submitted by Sen. Leonidas Raptakis, D-Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich, proposes a constitutional amendment that would alter the protocol for replacing the vacant seats of state officials, including general treasurer, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, according to the release.

Two joint resolution bills proposed by Sen. Paul Fogarty, D-Burrillville, Glocester, North Smithfield, would allow voters in the November election to call for a Constitutional Convention in the November election and would create a bipartisan commission charged with preparing constitutional questions to be put forth at the convention, according to the release.


Sip and shop

A bill proposed by Sen. Susan Sosnowski, D-South Kingstown and New Shoreham, would allow local wineries and breweries to attain licenses for selling their products at Rhode Island farmers’ markets.

“Farmers’ markets have become more of an experience than simply another place to sell food,” Sosnowski said, according to a General Assembly press release. “The addition of beer and wine — especially with the popularity of craft beers in New England — will do so much to round out the experience of our farmers’ markets.”

The amendment to current Rhode Island law would make the system resemble Massachusetts’, according to the release.

The legislation has been submitted to the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans’ Affairs for consideration.



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