JAMES MCLAUGHLIN

JAMES MCLAUGHLIN

Coastal Recycling, Cumberland's long-time and oft-controversial trash pick-up service, is targeted in an unusual bill by state Rep. James McLaughlin who says he's tired of resident complaints about poor service.

McLaughlin said Cumberland Town Hall is averaging more than a dozen complaints about lost, bent and broken barrels. Under the bill, cases would be heard in Municipal Court, which, he says, would have the authority to suspend the town's contract with a firm. "We need something to keep them in line," he said.

"If you were paying a private contractor, you would expect to not go chasing down the road to find your bins," he said.

"If they can't do better than that, they better hang it up."

Also on McLaughlin's docket is a bill that would require at least five honor guards at any military funeral. McLaughlin says budget cutbacks have seen the numbers reduced below the minimum needed to properly do the ceremonial folding and presentation of the colors as well as escorts. He expects strong support from veterans and organizations.

McLaughlin said he hasn't seen Sen. Ryan Pearson's fire consolidation bill for Cumberland but stands ready to support it.

Here's a list of McLaughlin's bills:

House No. 5030

Corporate Taxes

Would lower the minimum tax for corporations from $500 to $250 for the first 3 years the corporation files tax returns and thereafter a minimum of $500.

April 4: Committee held for further study.

House No. 5164

Bail and Recognizance

Would allow a court, in determining whether a person is a danger to the community and/or to grant or deny bail to a person charged with a sexual offense, to consider past indictments and/or arrests of the person for similar sexual offenses.

April 2: House Judiciary Committee held for further study.

House No. 5167

Transportation of Pupils

Would require the commissioner of education to provide transportation to students attending charter or vocational schools.

April 9: House Finance Committee held for further study.

House No. 5172

Sales Tax Holiday

Would provide a sales and use tax holiday on Presidents Day in the month of February and on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in each calendar year.

April 2: House Finance Committee held for further study.

House No. 5779

Safe Driving

Would create the Medeiros/Carpenter Safe Driving Act to enable the court to consider whether an operator was driving an unsafe motor vehicle when determining if he/she was driving so as to endanger, resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

March 5: Held for further study.

House Resolution No. 5840

Prudent Banking Act

Resolution respectfully urges Congress to enact H.R. 1489, the "return to prudent study."

March 20: Committee held for further study.

House No. 5903

Military Affairs

Would require an honor guard of five members and a bugler for each funeral for a veteran buried in Rhode Island.

March 21: House Veterans Affairs Committee held for further study.

House No. 5930

Maximum Fire Levy

Would make fire districts subject to the maximum levy set for municipal governments.

Feb. 6: Referred to House Finance.

House No. 5957

Public Transit Employees

Would limit the number of medical examinations required of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority employees to no more than one per year.

April 18: House Labor scheduled for April 24 hearing.

House No. 5986

Trash Pick-Up

Would require private contractors who pick up trash and recyclable materials to place the empty container in a safe and orderly manner in the pick-up area. $100 fine per incident.

April 18: House Municipal scheduled for April 25 hearing.