Author: Terri Cortvriend

In August I attended and presented at the The Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference in Toronto, Canada. I participated in a panel discussion about PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) and Rhode Island’s efforts to reduce PFAS in our watershed. PFAS chemicals do not break down in the environment or our bodies, hence the nickname “forever chemicals.” I have sponsored legislation around this issue and passed a bill in 2022 prohibiting PFAS from food packaging made or sold in Rhode Island. I will

I hope this update finds you in good health and high spirits! As your State Representative in Rhode Island, I am writing to provide you with an update on the 2023 legislative session and the remarkable progress we have made in addressing crucial issues that impact our community. First and foremost, I am pleased to inform you that we have successfully passed the Shoreline Access Bill, which guarantees public access to our state's beautiful shorelines. This legislation safeguards our natural resources and ensures that future

The House of Representatives for the second year made housing the number one priority, approving more than a dozen pieces of legislation. Many of the bills are aimed at streamlining and removing roadblocks in permitting processes to expedite production. The package included: • Incentivizing developers to expand subsidized housing options for low-income households with Low Income Housing Tax Credits • Amending the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act to revise the procedures for reviewing building applications. • Requiring lenders to advise owner-occupant mortgagors of the availability of a

Rhode Island is not the only state that has experienced growth in the short-term rental industry. Here on Aquidneck Island, we have seen the sudden expansion of the industry impacting neighborhoods and year-round housing. The RI House has appointed a Short-Term Rental Study Commission on which I will serve. The focus will be on policies that are fair, respect our neighborhoods and create a manageable tourism economy. The study shall, but not be limited to a review of all current and existing RI Statutes on

This year we passed a bill that clarifies where the public can access Rhode Island’s many miles of shoreline to exercise their constitutional rights. The new law establishes a public access line 10’ landward of the recognizable high-tide (the ‘wrack line’ or the ‘seaweed line’) along a sandy and rocky shore. When there are multiple seaweed lines, the one closest to the water is deemed to be the most recent.  If there is no seaweed, start at the wet/dry sand line and add 10’.

During the 2023 RI Legislative session, Rhode Island Energy submitted a bill that would create statewide tree trimming and vegetation management standards upon the approval of the RI Public Utilities Commission, which did not pass.  We all agree that we want our electric distribution lines to be maintained to reduce power outages, but the proposed legislation gave overreaching authority to the utility. Above all – Aquidneck Island loves its trees and our tree canopy and many of us work very hard to ensure its