RYAN PEARSON

RYAN PEARSON

Still coming this term from freshman Sen. Ryan Pearson is the bill that lays out a path for consolidating Cumberland's fire districts. Said to be in draft form and unavailable, the bill comes with the endorsement of Mayor Daniel McKee, who is calling it "something that really works and make sense."

Standing ready to lend support, too, is Rep. James McLaughlin, However, Rep. Karen MacBeth, whose district includes North Cumberland where taxes are already lowest, said she has concerns and wasn't sure she'll be able to support the plan.

Look first for passage of a Town Council resolution before the bill is introduced, suggests McKee.

Pearson is the author of the widely endorsed education aid acceleration plan that would step up the phased-in process of increasing aid to many suburban communities. His bill is crafted in a way that allows communities like Lincoln, which were already investing heavily in schools, to put some of the funding in the municipal operating fund to offset property taxes.

Pearson is also suggesting a new way of calculating vehicle excise tax reimbursement to towns, would punish communities for not fully funding their pension plans, and would install incentives for college graduates to remain in the state by giving them tax credits based on college loan balances.

Here's a list of Pearson's bills filed to date:

Senate No. 188

Education Equity

Would accelerate the transition plan for calculation of state aid to education.

April 9: Senate Finance Committee heard.

Senate No. 262

School Repairs Support

Would provide that if a community's school department undertakes repairs eligible for school housing aid reimbursement and funds such repairs from the school district's budget, as opposed to the community's municipal budget.

April 9: Senate Finance Committee held for further study.

Senate No. 268

Vehicle Excise Tax

Would provide reimbursement to the cities and towns for the motor vehicle excise tax based on the percentage of respective values in each city and town, rather than the tax rates.

April 9: Senate Finance Committee held for further study.

Senate No. 393

Personal Income Tax

Would establish the Stay Invested in RI Tax Credit. It would authorize a tax credit against Rhode Island personal income tax for graduates who remain a resident of and work in Rhode Island for up to 10 years after graduation from an institution of higher education.

April 9: Senate Finance Committee heard.

Senate Resolution No. 481

Long Term Benefits

Senate resolution respectfully requesting the Rhode Island Department of Human Services to provide enhanced long-term care services and benefits for Rhode Island veterans.

March 20: Senate read and passed.

Senate No. 516

Zoning Ordinances

Would allow cities and towns to enact, in order to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, reasonable standards for the installation and maintenance of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy.

March 27: Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee held for further study.

Senate No. 522

Retirement Security Act

Would permit the general treasurer to withhold state aid to municipalities which do not fully fund their annual required contribution to a locally administered pension plan.

April 9: Senate Finance Committee heard.