LIST OF ISSUES
Small Business Regulation & Mandates

          "As a self-employed business owner, I understand the burdensome regulations and exhorbitant expenses imposed by the State that lead to the demise of small businesses and farms in Rhode Island.  I will work hard to ease and streamline business regulations.  With nearly a decade of municipal experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."

Mike Stenhouse said it best:

       Why would anyone be surprised that we have an out-of-control regulatory climate? In addition to taxes, fees, and licensing barriers, regulations are just another form of big government, which we already give far too much love to in Rhode Island. The high number of regulations in our state contributes to the overall poor business climate we have become infamous for,”  - Mike Stenhouse, the CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

Second Amendment Rights

 

           I am a defender of our Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership.  Some of the recently proposed legislation will only impact law-abiding gun owners and does not address the real issue, which is illegal ownership and illegal use of firearms.  Punishing responsible gun owners will not solve this problem.

Consolidation / Regionalization

          During my years on the Foster Town Council, I brought forward many ideas to consolidate or regionalize municipal services, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.  As your Senator, I will work towards consolidation to reduce the cost of providing public services on both the Municipal and State level. 

                               911 Funds Mismanagement
          "I believe that the 911 funds that we all contribute to have been misappropriated.  I look forward to bringing forward my ideas to resolve this issue as your Senator in  District 21."
                                                                                          - Gordon Rogers

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the money was used appropriately and for state functions, but a House panel will hear testimony on Thursday.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Acknowledging that it is a “misnomer″ to call the charge that appears on telephone bills a “911 fee,″ House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello on Tuesday promised that lawmakers will “address″ the long-simmering controversy — that now has erupted — over the diversion elsewhere of all but $5.2 million of the $16.8 million raised last year alone for emergency services.

“It’s going to be addressed one way or another,″ Democrat Mattiello of Cranston told reporters after Tuesday’s House session. “The current status quo will not be maintained.”

Elaborating, he said: “The citizens can be assured that all of the [fee revenue] went to state functions, and they were spent appropriately. However, as they are coming in [as] 911 fees and they are being used for something else, [it is] probably not appropriate, and it is something that we should and will and have to address.”

More than $11.6 million was diverted from the E911 fund, according to the latest figures released on Tuesday from the Raimondo administration. At Monday’s “summit” in Cranston, Michael O’Rielly, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, said that Rhode Island had diverted more than $8 million, or 60 percent, of the fees it collected.

A House Finance Committee hearing on the Department of Public Safety budget, which includes the E911 system, is scheduled for Thursday.

Responding to questions about statements made during the Cranston meeting, Mattiello pushed back against allegations that the state’s E911 system has inordinately long wait times for call pickups and out-of-date technology.

Each month, Rhode Islanders who maintain landline phones pay a $1 fee for E911 service while anyone with a cellphone pays $1.26.

Several speakers at the meeting said that in other states, emergency responders can pinpoint the locations of cellphone callers with geolocation information; that specialists can coach bystanders on how to save lives by administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and that E911 operators can receive emergency messages via text, a function that Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office says will come online later this year.

“We should have that technology now,” said Cranston’s police chief, Col. Michael J. Winquist. “We don’t have it.”

Mattiello said he believes the state’s 911 emergency system has the geolocation capability.

“Our analysis has always been that it is properly funded and that our wait times are within national standards, and that the technology is top notch and that it is a well-functioning 911 system,″ he said. But “I am going to let our finance committee talk to the witnesses that come in, talk to the experts and determine what is appropriate for our 911 service.”

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