In 2017, the RICADV celebrated several substantial legislative victories that will enhance safety and security for survivors and our communities:
Disarming Dangerous Abusers
The Rhode Island legislature voted overwhelmingly to disarm dangerous abusers through the Protect RI Families Act, signed into law by Governor Gina Raimondo. The law requires that abusers convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or subject to restraining orders surrender their firearms. A special thank you to House sponsor and domestic violence legislative champion Representative Teresa Tanzi and Senate sponsor Senator Harold Metts. Thank you to Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio for your leadership in getting this bill passed.
Guaranteeing Earned Sick and Safe Days
The legislature also enacted the Earned Sick and Safe Days bill, which guarantees up to five paid sick days for RI employees, including mandated paid leave for those experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Thank you to Senator Maryellen Goodwin, a longstanding RICADV champion and the Senate sponsor of this bill, and House sponsor Representative Aaron Regunberg for your commitment to Rhode Island families.
Expanding Crime Victim Compensation for Children who Witness
We celebrated the successful passage of a bill that expands the Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Program, covering the cost of mental health counseling for minors who witness homicides or domestic violence. Thank you to General Treasurer Seth Magaziner for championing this important policy.
Justice Reinvestment and Dangerousness Risk Assessments
We also supported and testified in favor of the Justice Reinvestment criminal justice reform bills, signed into law this year after more than two years of advocacy. Justice Reinvestment promotes reallocation of criminal justice resources from incarceration to treatment in order to improve public safety, reduce costs, and promote rehabilitation of criminal offenders and successful reentry into society. The legislation includes the critical establishment of a pre-arraignment lethality risk screening for those who are charged with domestic violence offenses and brought before a Judge for determinations of bail and conditions placed on the defendant.