STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2017-H 6050) that would exempt the elderly and disabled people who cannot operate a vehicle from paying for state-issued identification cards.
“This legislation is needed because for many in our elderly and disabled communities, if they are not active drivers then they do not possess an official ID card. And for many of these people, they are already living on fixed-incomes and the price of a new ID card is too much for some, yet, so many programs in our society require an official ID, such as voting, so these people are left in a quite a predicament,” said Representative Canario. “Waiving the fees for these people is a small price to pay to ensure that our elderly and disabled friends and neighbors can continue to interact in our society.”
The act would apply to people over the age of 59 or people who are disabled and unable to drive from being charged a fee for identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill would only apply to people with no valid operator’s license or people who surrender their license due to an inability to drive.
The cosponsors of the legislation are Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence), Rep. Robert A. Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28, Coventry), and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).
The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Finance.
Rep. Canario announces State House will participate in ‘Good Night Lights’ for three nights starting Wednesday night
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) is pleased to announce that the Rhode Island State House will be participating in the “Good Night Lights” program this Wednesday night through Friday night. The program involves businesses, buildings, and groups within the sightline of Hasbro Children’s Hospital whom blink their lights on and off for one minute at 8:30 p.m. every night. Often, blinking room lights can be seen in the hospital as reciprocation to the nightly ritual.
“This is truly a heartwarming gesture that so many have become involved in over the past year and I would like to thank Governor Raimondo and her administration for allowing the State House to hopefully brighten the spirits of the children in Hasbro,” said Representative Canario.
Representative Canario had written to Governor Raimondo and the Department of Administration about the possibility of the State House joining the other buildings, businesses, and groups who are in view of Hasbro Children’s Hospital and participate in the nightly gesture to the children residing in the hospital. The Department of Administration informed Representative Canario that the State House will be flashing its lights at the children in the hospital for three nights starting tomorrow, April 12.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2017-H 5551) that would create a 15-member special legislative commission to study the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island.
“The potential effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island would have drastic impacts to the fabric of our state and this commission is necessary to determine if those effects would come with positive or negative outcomes,” said Representative Canario. “There is too much at stake from both a financial and a public health standpoint to rush into legalization because Massachusetts has elected to do so. This commission will take a thoughtful and data-driven approach to determine if legalizing marijuana is the right move for Rhode Island.”
The commission would consist of three members of the House of Representatives, three members of the Senate, one member from Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the President of the Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI or a designee, a member from a pro-legalization organization, the Executive Director of the RI Medical Society or a designee, a member of a local chamber of commerce, the Director of the Department of Health or a designee, the President of the RI Police Chief’s Association or a designee, a designee of the RI Attorney General, and a member representing the medical marijuana patients of Rhode Island.
The purpose of the commission would be to conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington to the extent available, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and thereafter the potential impact on Rhode Island of legalized recreational marijuana.
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) has introduced legislation (2017-H 5213) that would prohibit the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) from placing, through the courts, an abused or neglected child with either the child’s paternal or maternal grandparents without interviewing and investigating both sides of the child’s family.
“First and foremost, this bill’s intent is to protect our state’s children who are in dangerous situations. The act will ensure that if an abused child is in need of placement, the family member who is given custody of the child is the best possible person or persons who can protect and provide for the child the most,” said Representative Canario.
The act would exclude recommendations of DCYF regarding the placement of an abused or neglected child with other family members unless the recommendation is based on the investigation of both the paternal and maternal branches of the child’s family.
“There has been too many instances where DCYF has arbitrarily placed abused children with a family member without investigating other possible guardians as well, and in the most horrific instances, the child was in worse danger than before the placement,” said Representative Canario. “The state’s abused and neglected children have already been through too many terrible and traumatic experiences and we owe it to them to place them in the safest and most stable environments possible and that can only happen if thorough investigations into the child’s entire extended family takes place.”
Rep. Canario named Deputy Majority Leader and First Vice-Chairman of Health, Education and Welfare Committee
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) was appointed to the position of Deputy Majority Leader yesterday by House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston). Representative Canario was also appointed as the First Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare and he was appointed to the House Committee on Judiciary and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
“I am truly honored to have been appointed as Deputy Majority Leader and I thank Speaker Mattiello and the rest of my colleagues for their vote of confidence to join the House leadership team,” said Representative Canario. “I am also eager to begin working on solving the problems all Rhode Islanders face every day within the committee setting. Our state faces some tough issues and I pledge to always work for the best interests of my constituents, and all of Rhode Island, on the committees I have been appointed to.”
The Judiciary Committee considers all bills affecting the penal code, judicial system, ethics, open meetings, access to public records and election laws. The Health, Education and Welfare Committee deliberates matters relating to the health care system, public education, human services and children and families. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs handles all legislation impacting the lives of Rhode Island veterans and those currently in military service.
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.