I would like to thank my family, volunteers and supporters after my decisive win on Tuesday to retain the District 71 seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
This was a team effort from the beginning and I am truly humbled and honored that the people of District 71 chose me to represent them on Smith Hill for another two years. I thank every volunteer and supporter who believed in my campaign and I can promise everyone that I will not stop fighting for the best interests of the district and the state as a whole. I will continue to be the State Representative that we can all be proud of. Thank you everyone!
STATE HOUSE – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis M. Canario and Sen. Gayle L. Goldin that prohibits using prone restraints at certain state licensed facilities and creates a study commission to study the restraint reporting requirements of those same facilities was signed into law today by Governor Raimondo at a ceremonial bill signing.
“The risky and dangerous practice of prone restraining needs to end inRhode Island before an unfortunate tragedy takes place,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “The lives of the men, women and children who are seeking help at our state facilities should not ever be put at risk in this manner, especially when considering the incidents that have happened nation-wide when prone restraining has gone horribly wrong.”
“We should treat everyone with dignity. We know prone restraints can be deadly. By eliminating this method in covered facilities, and providing training of other safer techniques, we know Rhode Islanders will be treated humanely,” said Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence).
The legislation (2016-H 7154 Sub A / 2016-S 2426 Sub A) is in response to the controversial technique of prone restraining that has led to cases of asphyxia and death when utilized. Any agency, organization, or public or private entity that provides support or care, residential support, education, healthcare, treatment, or direct supervision that is licensed by the state is now banned from the practice. The law does not apply to any law enforcement department, the department of corrections, the training school for youth, and the forensic unit at the Eleanor Slater Hospital. The legislation also requires nationally recognized training of all service providers in the reduction and elimination of restraint and seclusion techniques when dealing with patients and clients.
Finally, the bill creates a joint legislative study commission to study the restraint reporting requirements of each facility and entity covered under the law and make recommendations to ensure that reporting is as uniform as possible and appropriate data is collected to inform practice and policy decisions in the future.
Sen. Gayle L. Goldin, left, and Rep. Dennis M. Canario, right, join Governor Gina M. Raimondo for a ceremonial bill signing in the State Room of the State House.
For immediate release June 24, 2016
PORTSMOUTH – Representative Dennis Canario, a retired Portsmouth police officer and father of three, today announced his intention to seek a third term serving the people of District 71 in the House of Representatives. The district includes the towns of Portsmouth, Little Compton and Tiverton.
“I have worked hard to raise the quality of life across our state to ensure every Rhode Islander has the opportunity to start a family, earn a living, and retire comfortably,” said Rep. Canario, a Democrat. “I will be proud to put my record before the voters this fall.”
Due to his leadership efforts, Rep. Canario was named a Deputy Majority Leader by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. In that role, he works closely with the House leadership to inform members of issues and votes coming before the House.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to speak on behalf of rank and file members and raise concerns to House leadership,” said Rep. Canario. “Together, we have moved our state forward by increasing the minimum wage, expanding the earned income tax credit, and reducing taxes on retirees.”
Rep. Canario is a member of three House committees, including the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Rep. Canario has been an outspoken advocate for the East Bay and strongly opposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge in 2014.
“The East Bay needs a strong voice in Providence who is willing to stand up when our quality of life is threatened,” said Rep. Canario. “I fought against the tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge because they would have nickel and dimed residents to death and hurt dozens of small businesses who are the true job creators in our economy.”
To continue his efforts on behalf of his district, Rep. Canario voted against the truck toll proposal earlier this year.
“I heard loud and clear from my constituents that they were opposed to the plan that fixes our roads and bridges by placing a toll on large commercial trucks,” said Rep. Canario. “Although we know there is a need to repair our bridges, there is a better way to do it than eventually placing more than a dozen toll gantries on highways throughout the state.”
Rep. Canario has served as a strong voice for the developmentally disabled. This year he advocated for increased budget funds and employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled community.
“After years of crippling funding cuts to the developmentally disabled community, I enthusiastically supported this year’s budget because it included much needed funding to those with developmental disabilities,” said Rep. Canario. “We also passed legislation calling on the Governor’s Workforce Board to expand employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled to ensure this segment of our workforce is not be left behind as our state surges toward economic recovery.”
He has also relied on his professional experience as a police officer to issue policies and legislation that improves public safety throughout the state. This year he introduced legislation to ban the use of deadly restraint tactics, increase training for school bus drivers, and put before voters a bond to build a new police station in Portsmouth.
Rep. Canario also sponsored legislation to reinstate the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission over General Assembly members. The legislation puts a constitutional amendment before voters this fall that would eliminate the legislative immunity clause in the state’s constitution.
“Accountability has been absent for far too long within the walls of the State House and I consider it my duty to the residents of District 71 to build the public’s confidence in elected officials,” said Rep. Canario. “No legislator is above the law and those who put self interest before our state’s best interest should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Canario previously served on the Portsmouth Town Council from 2004 to 2010 and held the position of Council President for two years. He founded the Portsmouth Police Cadet Explorer Program and served as the Portsmouth Senior Citizens Advocate from 1997 to 2001. He resides in Portsmouth with his wife Amy and children Dennis, Olivia, and Jonathan.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario is proud to have supported the FY 2017 state budget (2016-H 7454) that boosts services for the state’s developmentally disabled community. Representative Canario voted in favor of the budget last night in part due to the increased funding.
“After years of crippling funding cuts to the developmentally disabled community, I enthusiastically voted for this state budget because it included additional and much needed appropriations to those with developmental disabilities and the compassionate workers who care for the community,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “I applaud Speaker Mattiello, the Finance Committee, and my colleagues in the House for recognizing the needs of the developmentally disabled community and not turning their backs on them.”
The proposal adds additional support to the Department of Behavior Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals’ budget to implement the federal consent decree addressing the statewide day activity service system for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with part of the money dedicated to raising the wages of direct care workers who serve the developmentally disabled. In total, the budget allocates $15.4 million more for services provided to those with developmental disabilities than the budget enacted last year.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario’s legislation (2016-H 8082) that requires school bus drivers’ annual training include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s school bus driver in-service training series was passed by the House of Representatives tonight. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“There is nothing more important to Rhode Island’s parents than the safety of their children on our state’s school buses. This legislation ensures that our bus drivers are trained with the most up to date safety procedures and protocols that are available,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “The passage of this bill keeps our kids safer, it keeps our roads safer, and it makes sure that our state’s school bus drivers will always have the most current national safety training and do their jobs in the safest manner possible.”
The series includes training on driver attitude; student management; highway and rail grade crossing safety; vehicle training; knowing your route; loading and unloading; driving under adverse weather conditions; emergency evacuation; and transporting students with special needs. If the legislation becomes law, school bus drivers would need to receive the training annually.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario has co-sponsored legislation (2016-H 8189) sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) to broaden the powers of the state’s Ethics Commission by eliminating legislative immunity from Ethics Commission oversight through a constitutional amendment.
“Accountability has been absent for far too long within the walls of the State House and I considered it my duty to the residents of District 71 to co-sponsor and support this important piece of legislation that states unequivocally that no legislator is above the law,” said Representative Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton). “The Ethics Commission was created to ensure that no one within the State House breached the sacred line of public trust and I am pleased to say that this legislation once again reaffirms the powers of the Ethics Commission to protect the best interests of Rhode Island’s taxpayers.”
If passed by the House Committee on Judiciary and the House of Representatives, the proposal would place a referendum on the November ballot to remove legislative immunity from the state’s constitution. The proposal also includes additional changes to the Ethics Commission and Ethics Code. The legislation requires two-thirds of the commission members to change any rule or regulation of the commission. Individuals will also be prohibited from filing a complaint with the commission once the filing period begins for a given election in order to prevent frivolous complaints and the politicization of the Ethics Commission.
The Ethics Commission legislation is the latest of several reforms calling for more transparency at the legislature. Last year, the House of Representatives approved sweeping campaign finance reforms to increase disclosure of campaign account activity. Candidates and office holders are now required to file annual bank statements, maintain separate campaign accounts, and appoint a treasurer if annual account activity exceeds $10,000.
In 2014, the House of Representatives unanimously approved the removal of the “master lever”, which abolished the practice of one-line straight-party voting.
“The taxpayers of this state deserve nothing less than total accountability and transparency within their government and elected officials. The recent reforms passed by the House are a clear statement that we as legislators serve the people of Rhode Island and not the agendas of special interests,” added Representative Canario.
Rep. Canario cosponsors legislation to prevent Rhode Island from becoming an illegal immigration destination
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has cosponsored two pieces of legislation to effectively prevent those who are unlawfully present in the country from obtaining driver’s licenses in Rhode Island, and to prohibit municipalities from refusing to cooperate with the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration laws. Both pieces of legislation (2016-H 7859 / 2016-H 7860) were introduced by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence).
“I feel strongly that our federal immigration laws are in place for a reason and that we as a state should abide by these laws that were enacted to protect American citizens,” said Representative Canario. “Although our immigration system does need reform, it’s important to enforce the laws that are already established.”
Both pieces of legislation are meant to establish laws that are consistent with federal immigration laws and to send a clear message that Rhode Island is no place for those who enter the country illegally. One of the bills would require anyone who applies to the Division of Motor Vehicles for a driver’s license to provide either a valid Social Security number or proof of legal permanent residency in the United States. The legislation would take effect upon passage, and would apply to any issuance or renewal of any existing license on or after July 1.
The second piece of legislation aims to prevent “sanctuary cities” in Rhode Island. It would ban any government entity from prohibiting or restricting any state or local entity from working with the federal Department of Homeland Security to determine the immigration status of any individual or refusing to provide the federal immigration authorities with access to inmates in Rhode Island or information about them. It also stipulates the law enforcement officials may securely transport and transfer to federal custody those who the federal government has verified are in the country illegally. The bill also allows Rhode Island citizens to file a complaint with the attorney general if they believe an agency is not complying with it, and states that if the allegation proves true, the offending agency shall not be eligible to receive any funds from the state until the violation has ceased.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Honored to have helped secure a grant for the "Rhode Island Night to Shine" event at the Newport Marriott. Please click on the link below to see what a wonderful night my friends with disabilities had. It certainly was a night to shine! Thank you Tim Teb
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has again this year introduced a bill calling for labeling of food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“Rhode Island consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced with genetic engineering so they can make informed purchasing decisions,” said Representative Canario. “Everyone has the right and deserves to know what exactly is in their food and this bill restores that right for Rhode Islanders.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 70 percent of food products sold in supermarkets contain GMOs. 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.
U.S. government scientists have said that the artificial insertion of genetic material into plants via genetic engineering can cause a variety of significant problems with plant food, perhaps increasing the levels of known toxins or allergens that could cause health concerns.
The Canario legislation, 2016-H 7274, would add a definition to state law relative to genetically engineered products and would also set forth rules for labeling such products, beginning in January, 2017. Whether packaged food or a raw agricultural commodity, the item would need to be clearly labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”
The Canario bill has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. Co-sponsors include Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), and Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence).
ROUTE 24 RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced the temporary closure of the right lane on a segment of Route 24 North in Tiverton. The closure is necessary because an expansion joint needs to be repaired on the bridge that carries Route 24 North over Fish Road.
Motorists may experience delays on Route 24 North during this restriction. RIDOT was alerted by Tiverton Police late this morning about broken pavement at a bridge joint.
RIDOT's Highway and Bridge Maintenance crews will begin repairs at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7. At that time, all lanes of Route 24 North will be closed. Traffic will be diverted off the highway at the Fish Road exit, and then immediately back onto Route 24 after the bridge. Police officers will assist in the movement of traffic through this work zone. Route 24 South will not be affected.
During the repair on Tuesday, travel delays are likely. Motorists should plan extra time for travel or seek an alternate route.
All lanes are scheduled to reopen by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
For more information, visit us online at www.dot.ri.gov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RIDOTNews. For real-time traffic updates, subscribe to our Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/RIDOTNews.