I was outraged last year about the proposal to place tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. I vowed to never stop fighting until the legislature killed the plan. After a great deal of hard work and determination, our colleagues voted in June to remove the tolls and we devised a comprehensive solution to our state's infrastructure needs. That's the type of leadership I provided in my first term, and I ask for your support to enable me to continue the fight on your behalf!
As many of you know, my first term serving in the House of Representatives (District 71) and the People of the State of Rhode Island was not only a historic one for our state, but a very meaningful one for our community. Removing the tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge and funding our state’s road and bridge infrastructure system was a vital step in helping save our economy in both East Bay and our state.
I am proud of the tremendous work we accomplished and I know there is still a lot more to do. Jobs and the economy are two very important issues that we must continue to work at. I have and will continue to advocate for a clean/green environment, address how we tax retirement income, sensible and responsible spending of taxpayer money, equal civil rights for all Rhode Islanders, and support the health and welfare of all veterans and those with special needs.
I am honored to announce that I will seek re-election for State Representative to the General Assembly representing district 71 which covers portions of Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton. As your State Representative I have worked tirelessly for our district and have made great strides. I ask each and every citizen for your support and I ask that you allow me to continue to build on a better future for Rhode Island. My proven record of commitment, honesty and integrity will help keep us on that path to a brighter future.
Dennis M. Canario
STATE HOUSE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 70 percent of food products sold in supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients (sometimes referred to as GMOs, for genetically modified organisms).
A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature and is experimental.
Unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption is not adequately tested. There have been no long-term studies conducted on the safety of genetically engineered foods for humans, according to GMO Action Alliance, an alliance of grassroots organizations from states across the U.S. working to educate people about the issue.
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) believes people have an absolute right to know what is in the food they are eating, or the drugs they are taking or the cosmetics they are using. “Knowledge is power and people need to know what they are putting into their bodies.”
Representative Canario has introduced legislation, (2014-H7042), that would add a definition to state law relative to genetically engineered products and that would also set forth rules for labeling such products. Whether packaged food or a raw agricultural commodity, the item would need to be clearly labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”
“This is not only about the purity and safety of our food but also about the right of consumers to know what they are purchasing,” said Representative Canario. “I am not interested in launching a fight for an outright ban on genetically engineered products, but I am interested in educated consumers. When consumers know what is in the product they intend to buy, they can determine whether to buy it or not. But they should not be buying items without full and total disclosure of what the item contains.”
Maine and Connecticut are the only two legislatures that have so far passed GMO labeling bills, although similar legislation has been introduced in about 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Maine bill does not go into effect, however, until five nearby states similar labeling laws. Similarly, a provision of the Connecticut law is that it doesn’t take effect until a combination of Northeastern states that add up to 20 million residents pass similar legislation – a provision backers say is necessary to build a broad base of support.
“I believe Rhode Island should join this movement to make sure our residents are fully aware of what they are eating or can decide, through labeling, that what is being sold is not something they want to eat,” said Representative Canario.
The Canario bill has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. Co-sponsors include Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Rep. Scott J. Guthrie (D-Dist. 27, Coventry), Rep. Raymond J. Johnston Jr. (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket) and Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth).
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
STATE HOUSE – Rhode Island is listed as one of Kiplinger’s top ten least tax-friendly states for retirees. Kiplinger, a leader in personal finance news, says the Ocean State is particularly tough on retirees because it not only taxes Social Security benefits but also virtually all other sources of retirement income, including pension income.
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) says that fact is another black eye for a state that is trying to re-brand itself as a good place to live and work and run a business.
“If our goal is to attract business to Rhode Island, to grow our economy and to make it more comfortable for our citizens to stay here rather than retiring to a more tax-friendly state, such as Florida, we need to stop imposing taxes on virtually everything imaginable,” said Representative Canario. “I think we need to look at the way we tax pensions and determine if that is one policy we can change without causing damage to our budget.”
Representative Canario has introduced a bill calling for creation of a legislative commission to study the categories, methods and monetary implications of taxing personal retirement and pension income.
“I would hope we can find that eliminating the tax on pension and retirement income, or perhaps reducing the tax, will be beneficial for our state and the many retirees living here,” said Representative Canario. “At the very least, we need to take a serious look at this tax policy which hasn’t been addressed in years. We need to determine if keeping it in place is worth the bad marks our state gets for imposing it or if amending, altering or repealing these tax policies will better serve the interest of our citizens.”
As proposed by Representative Canario, the seven-member commission would include two members of the House of Representatives, the Chair of the House Committee on Finance, the Director of the Department of Revenue, the Auditor General, the Director of the Department of Administration and the General Treasurer.
The commission, if established, would be expected to report its finding to the House of Representatives by the beginning of June of this year.
The Canario legislation, (2014-H7009), has been referred to the House Committee on Finance. Co-sponsors include Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren), Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) and Rep. Linda Finn (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth).
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
A special legislative commission looking into funding for East Bay bridges has begun its study. As I indicated when I testified before the commission earlier this month, there are many serious questions and issues that I hope the commission will give serious consideration.
For instance, during my testimony before the commission, I questioned the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority’s latest numbers for bridge maintenance costs on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, since RITBA’s numbers keep changing like the weather. I pointed out that taxpayers and toll payers are paying more for the toll collection system than what RITBA is actually collecting for bridge maintenance. The state gave RITBA a bridge, taxpayers are footing the bill and the authority is sitting back and collecting the cash.
RITBA also indicated that August 23 was the substantial completion date for the bridge and that the 10 cent toll needed to be put into place at that time or there would be dire consequences. It is now the middle of October and the substantial completion date has not yet arrived. DOT Director Lewis has indicated it will now be sometime closer to March, 2014, before they reach the completion date.
There seem to be too many moving targets and very, very little in the way of actual, verifiable, definitive information. As a result, I urged the study commission to request a forensic audit of RITBA because, quite frankly, I do not trust what they are telling us.
I suggested that the commission seriously consider looking at cutting costs within the Department of Transportation. I think it would be more appropriate to cut costs first rather than just figuring out a way to raise revenue and further burden working people with the imposition of a toll.
I told the committee what I have been saying all along – this is not just an East Bay issue. We know that Providence, for instance, has the highest percentage of bridge failures in the state. I think it is time that we have one infrastructure entity – the DOT – and a means of funding maintenance and improvements that is supported by all the citizens of Rhode Island, not just those living on or traveling to and from Aquidneck Island.
Representative – District 71
Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton
I would like to thank all those residents of District 71 who have taken the time to contact me to express their opinion on legislation that has been introduced regarding registration of guns in Rhode Island.
The legislation, as you may know, would require all gun owners to register their weapons with their local police or the state police, pay a fee for each gun, and allow the police to keep copies of applications for gun purchases sent to them for background checks. Failure to abide by those provisions could result in a fine and/or prison term.
I want to acknowledge that I do not question the sincerity of the bill sponsor, or the desire on the sponsor’s part to address the serious problem of gun violence in our nation.
However, I cannot support this legislation. While I believe it was filed in an earnest attempt to do the right thing, I feel it does it in the wrong way.
Historically, changes to our Bill of Rights have been made to extend freedoms to the American people. More gun control, I believe, will only impact law-abiding citizens, not those who possess guns illegally or who use them for criminal purposes. I believe that controls such as those proposed in the bill would set the wrong kind of precedent, serving only to punish the innocent majority of gun owners due to the actions of a criminal few. Further control, of this kind, could turn us into a society where truth and justice no longer prevail.
We must take a common-sense approach to addressing violent crimes involving guns, rather than a knee-jerk reaction. We need to make certain that when we address what is clearly a serious issue, we do it reasonably and rationally and in a manner that doesn’t trample all over our citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
As legislators, we all took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. We need to come together to address gun violence, but we need to do it in a way that solves the core problem without undermining individual rights.
Dennis M. Canario
Representative – District 71
Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton
Gathering signatures for nomination papers was just the first step, and I want to thank
everyone who helped place me on the ballot. I intend to continue my campaign, and
look forward to talking with the residents of District 71 over the months to
come. I will be a Representative that we can all be proud of.
We'll be kicking off our campaign at Foodworks in Portsmouth.
email firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
My announcement to seek Representative for district 71 is not a decision I take lightly. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Town of Portsmouth on the town council for 6 years, 2 years as council president. There were times that hard decisions had to be made but as your council president, I made every effort to represent all citizens and not just one special interest group.
Moving forward, I ask all voters to join me in our path toward the future. I have made many accomplishments during my tenure on the town council. Just like our community has grown so has my own journey grown. I ask each and every citizen for your support and I ask that you allow me to continue to build on a better future for Rhode Island. My proven record of commitment, honesty and integrity will help keep us on that path to a brighter future.
Residents of District 71 (Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton) deserve the most qualified person to fill the seat in the House of Representatives. My entire career consisted of serving all citizens both being a police officer and serving on the Town Council. My focus has always been directed towards public service. As your Representative, I can assure you that I will continue to work for all citizens and advocate for the quality of life for everyone.
I am a leader that is inclusive of all people - not about pushing personal agendas. I am a leader that considers everyone to be on the same team and treated as equal - not one that is interested in division and dissention. The best example of leadership is leadership by example.
An effective leader must possess sound judgment, treat people equally and fairly and have the skills necessary to build consensus. The choice is clear. I am the effective leader. Together we can make a difference.
Dennis M Canario