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RI NOW Priority bills - 2013

RI NOW's purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in all aspects of public and private life without experiencing barriers based on gender. We are a multi-issue organization, focused on but not limited to the following five key issue areas: 1) advancing reproductive health and justice, 2) promoting economic justice, 3) ending violence against women, 4) securing lesbian/gay rights, and 5) ending racism. RI NOW's top legislative priorities in 2013 are detailed below.

Support

H 5015/S 038

Would include same-sex couples in persons eligible to marry in Rhode Island. RI NOW supports equal access to marriage for all.

H 5079/S 256

Would raise minumum wage to $8.25/hour. Two-thirds of minimum wage jobs are held by women; RI NOW supports efforts to help low-income women achieve economic equity.

H 5243/S 201 Sub A

Would prevent insurance companies from charging women higher premium rates for health coverage plans. RI NOW supports efforts to prevent gender discrimination by the insurance industry.

H 5479/S 391

Would require there be a waiver from the secretary of the department of health and human services so people who do not have healthcare, high deductible coverage, or income less than 250% of the federal poverty level receive family planning services and supplies. RI NOW supports access to family planning services for ALL women.

H 5196/S 257

Would impose a 2% tax increase for personal income over $250,000. Fair taxation could help restore the programs that low-income women and their families depend upon.

H 5132/S 249

Would allow people to remain eligible for child care assistance so long as their income does not exceed 225% of the federal poverty level and child care is necessary to maintain employment. RI NOW supports efforts to help women maintain employment and achieve economic equity.

H 5409/S 263

Under the RI Works Program, would allow a family to qualify for low-income childcare assistance for the time an adult family member is participating in education or training while working 20+ hours/week. RI NOW supports efforts to provide affordable childcare for working women and families.

H 5410

Would increase workforce participation in the RI Works Program by eliminating the two-tiered time limit. RI NOW supports efforts to help women find and maintain employment and achieve economic equity.

 H 5889/S 0231

Would establish a state temporary disability insurance program and a temporary caregiver insurance program. Women are more likely than men to take time away from work to be caregivers; RI NOW supports efforts to provide workers with insurance benefits that protect them during these times.

H 5854/S 0551

Would provide for an additional fee of $46.00 for each marriage license of which $44.00 would be transmitted to the general treasurer to fund the domestic violence prevention programs and $2.00 of which would be retained by the city/town issuing the license.

OPPOSE

H 5334

Partial-birth abortion" prohibition. RI NOW opposes the purpose of this bill which is to criminalize abortion and impose felony penalties on physicians providing abortion services.

H 5104

Would establish the "Fetal Protection Act". RI NOW opposes the purpose of this bill which is to establish fetal personhood.

H 5566

Would ban abortions solely as a means of sex-selection. There is no evidence that sex-selection abortions occur with any frequency in the US; RI NOW opposes the purpose of this bill which is to establish fetal person-hood.

H 5435

Would require that an ultrasound fetal image be made and displayed for review by the woman seeking an abortion. RI NOW opposes the purpose of this bill which is to attempt to coerce a woman into deciding against an abortion she has chosen to have.

H 5488

"Women's Right to Know" Act; would add several onerous requirements to existing informed consent procedures for abortion, including a 24-hour waiting period and impose felony penalties on physicians not in compliance. RI NOW opposes all efforts to restrict women's access to abortion or prevent physicians from providing abortion services.

S 096

Would amend the RI constitution to codify marriage as between one man and one woman as well as recognize civil unions. RI NOW supports equal access to marriage for all.

S 708

Would approve, publish and submit to the electors a proposition of amendments to the constitution of the state (marriage). RI NOW opposes the use of a referendum system to determine the rights of same gender couples to marry.

S 012

Would permit schools to provide activities for students of one sex (e.g., father-daughter/mother-son activities) provided that reasonably comparable activities are provided for students of the opposite sex. RI NOW opposes gender-specific, exclusionary activities in schools.