July 21, 2016

Tanzi endorsed by Rhode Island's Progressive Democrats of America

Rep. Teresa Tanzi, who represents District 34 in Narragansett and South Kingstown, said she is proud to accept the endorsement of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats.  
She is the only incumbent General Assembly member to be endorsed by the organization.
“I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of an organization dedicated to striving for progressive change in our state,” said Rep. Tanzi.  “Together, we have made progress on many issues, such as minimum wage, affordable housing, and tax credits for working families.  I am running for reelection because so much work remains.  I will always fight tirelessly to advance the interests of the people of Narragansett, Wakefield and Peace Dale.”
A statement from the Rhode Island Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America explained why it is supporting Rep. Tanzi. “Teresa has been one of the strongest advocates for gun control, reproductive rights and economic justice in the General Assembly.”
This session, Rep. Tanzi sponsored several pieces of successful legislation.  One of her bills  created the “biliteracy seal,” an honor school districts can affix to high school diplomas to denote a student’s proficiency in multiple languages.  
“Knowing more than one language is an important skill as our society increasingly becomes more global,” said Rep. Tanzi.  “We should be encouraging students to learn more than one language because employers will be searching for workers who can communicate across the globe.”
Rep. Tanzi also received praise from small businesses this session after she sponsored successful legislation to allow retail sales by breweries.  Now law, the bill allows breweries, distilleries, and wineries, including those in the growing industry in South County, to sell limited amounts of their products.  
“Rep. Tanzi’s legislation was a much needed step forward for modern small businesses, and it will help Whaler’s and Rhode Island be competitive in this dynamic industry,” said Andy Tran, owner and founder of Whaler’s Brewing in Wakefield. 
Earlier this year, Clean Water Action named Rep. Tanzi their “Earth Day Champion.”  The organization cited her efforts to phase out the use of cesspools in Rhode Island as well as her leadership on other environmental issues. 
Jonathan Berard, state director for Clean Water Action said, “Since her election in 2010, Representative Tanzi has proven herself to be a leader on environmental issues in the General Assembly and Clean Water Action is fortunate to count her as a legislative ally.”
Rep. Tanzi is a member of the House Finance and House Small Business Committees.  She has been a leader in safeguarding the limited resources Rhode Island has for economic development by making sure new and existing tax incentives provide a benefit to the state’s economy and its residents.  
Her passions include the development of a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, working to increase availability of multi-modal transit options for commuters, and working to enact greater prevention measures for teen tobacco and nicotine addiction.  
She and her husband, Dr. Eric Buchbaum, live in Wakefield with their daughter, Delia Tanzi Buchbaum, where they raise chickens and bees.  

July 11, 2016

Clean energy bill package signed into law

NEWPORT, R.I. - Gov. Gina M. Raimondo – joined by Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Reps. Ruggiero,Tanzi, Regunberg, Abney, Sen. DiPalma and state Energy Commissioner Carol Grant – today ceremonially signed legislation that will enhance the state's renewable energy policies, create green jobs, and help move the state's energy sector toward a clean, sustainable, reliable future.

The bill signing at the Newport Vineyards follows the passage of bills:

  • H8354AS2450B – extends the Renewable Energy Fund,  enhance the Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program, expand virtual net metering and offer third-party financing for homeowners and businesses
  • H7413AS2185A – extends the Renewable Energy Standard
  • H7890S2328 – incorporates clean energy into the areas of focus of the Governor's Workforce Board
  • H8180S2174 – establishes a statewide solar permit process

“These bills represent our continued commitment not only to a more sustainable future, one in which much more of our energy is generated from clean, renewable sources right here in Rhode Island, but also greater investments in creating better career opportunities for Rhode Islanders in the rapidly expanding green industries. Green jobs in Rhode Island grew by 40 percent from 2014 to 2015 alone. Doing everything we can to continue and expand that growth and position our state as a leader in those industries will pay off in the form of well-paying jobs, successful businesses and greater prosperity for Rhode Island,” said President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

“When I led the Small Business Renewable Energy Task Force in 2010, Rhode Island didn’t even have a comprehensive, cohesive renewable energy policy and it was difficult to get financing to build renewable installations here. In just six years, we’ve gone from being a laggard to a leader in renewable energy, and these bills further advance our state’s opportunities for growth in generating renewable energy. With this legislation, we’ve allowed businesses and homeowners to build off-site renewable energy installations, just as municipalities have been able to do for years, expanded the distributed generation pilot program into the Renewable Energy Growth Fund and allowed third-party financing. All of these changes put renewable energy generation within reach for many more Rhode Islanders, strengthening our economy while diversifying our state’s energy sources and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown).

"This legislation reflects forward-thinking energy policies that will help us meet our state energy goals," Governor Raimondo said. "With its passage, we can continue to create jobs, connect Rhode Islanders with more cost-effective energy options and reduce our carbon footprint."

Also in attendance at today’s ceremonial bill signing was co-sponsor of two of the bills, Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett). "I have been at the table for the majority of bills the General Assembly has passed around renewable energy since elected, and I am proud of the standing Rhode Island now has as a result of these efforts."

“We are so grateful, not only to the governor and the General Assembly, but to the many stakeholders who have been a part of this process. Our collaborative push to bring clean, reliable, diversified energy to Rhode Island has resulted in substantial progress toward our energy goals. There is much more work to be done, and I am proud to be part of the team that is leading that charge," said Office of Energy Resources Commissioner Carol Grant.

The governor and SolarCity National Field Campaigns Deputy Director Christy Plumer also announced today that SolarCity would be expanding operations in Rhode Island. The expansion is in large part due to the work of the General Assembly and the governor to build the clean energy economy – particularly the state’s efforts to expand net metering and allow residents to install solar through a lease or power purchase agreement – as well as the governor’s recent meeting with SolarCity in California. SolarCity operation centers typically have approximately 100 employees when fully staffed.

“We are grateful that Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island legislature support clean energy and the solar business economy by signing legislation that expands net metering and makes solar more accessible for Rhode Islanders,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “We look forward to increasing our solar product offerings in the Ocean State.”

IN PHOTO: Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, seated, signs one of the renewable energy bills. Behind her, from left, are Newport Vineyards owner Paul Nunes , House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown), Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence), Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton) and Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

July 10, 2016

Tanzi promotes bike path completion at GrowSmart event

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Teresa Tanzi was a panelist in a discussion on the importance of constructing and connecting bike paths in Rhode Island at GrowSmartRI’s 2016 Power of Place Summit.

The summit, held June 28 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, brought together 400 thinkers and doers committed to shaping a stronger, more vibrant Rhode Island by ensuring the state accelerates the pace of revitalization in a way that has lasting impact for this and future generations.

Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett), a longtime ardent supporter of bike paths and community design that encourages biking and walking, was part of a panel discussion entitled, “Paths to Progress: Why and How Rhode Island Should Complete and Connect its Bikeway Network.”

The group discussed how Rhode Island’s 60 miles of bike paths, though popular with residents and visitors, are disconnected from one another, dead-end or don’t connect with the growing network of bike paths in neighboring states. Closing the gaps and expanding the network throughout the state would realize their full economic, health and transportation benefits and expand tourism, healthy recreation and alternative transportation opportunities statewide, the panelists said.

Representative Tanzi and her fellow panelists were all founding members of a coalition called “Paths to Progress,” which formed last summer to advocate for the expansion and connection of bike paths in the state, including the completion of the South County Bike Path. The path currently runs from West Kingston to Wakefield, but was designed to continue through Narragansett to Narragansett Town Beach. The panelists each spoke of the region they represent and then led break-out groups to discuss in greater detail the opportunities and challenges of biking in the areas. Participants included town planners and staff of state agencies as well as avid cyclists.

The coalition is advocating for passage of Question 4 on November’s ballot, which will authorize the state to offer $35 million in bonds for green economy projects, $10 million of which would go toward designing and constructing bikeways, including the completion of the South County Bike Path.

“Bike paths are both healthy recreation and safe transportation resources for people of all abilities and skill levels. While Rhode Island has some beautiful and well-used paths, the state has never fully committed to completing them or connecting them in the ways that were originally planned. This bond finally gives us the opportunity to look long-term at creating a plan to bring our bike paths to their full potential. Developing a vision for the state will give Rhode Islanders and tourists alike the opportunity to travel and enjoy the natural beauty of our diverse landscape,” said Representative Tanzi. “Whether or not you personally use the paths, completing and connecting these paths will have clear economic benefits in terms of increased tourism dollars and reduced health care costs, a true win for our state.”

IN PHOTO: Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett), center, discusses plans at the Power of Place Summit. At left is Chris Witt, principal planner for transportation at the Statewide Planning Program

June 26, 2016

June 10, 2016

Tanzi, Welcome House, Jonnycake Center, host Capital Good Fund in Peace Dale

STATE HOUSE – Just days after a federal agency proposed long-awaited stricter limits on the payday lending industry, Rep. Teresa Tanzi brought the Capital Good Fund to South County to provide local residents with information about its small-dollar loans and other programs to build credit and avoid predatory lending traps.

The event, held at the Welcome House of South County June 6 and hosted by Representative Tanzi and the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, was free and open to the public, and gave attendees insight into the financial coaching and lending products the Capital Good Fund can provide to Rhode Islanders.

“It’s well documented that the payday lending industry baits the consumer with a 10-percent rate over two weeks, or a pay period, but the reality is they cannot pay back the loan in two weeks and more often than not, the 10 percent becomes a 260 percent annual percentage rate when it takes a year to payback. These ‘rollover’ loans become the debt trap that ensnares people already on the edge of poverty. While I’m glad there’s some movement toward regulatory change on the federal level, we have opportunities to make things better now in Rhode Island, and I’d like consumers to know that they have options. I’m very grateful to the Capital Good Fund for the alternative services and products it offers to help people manage financial emergencies and come out stronger, and for its staff’s willingness to come to South County and connect our residents to their valuable resources,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

The Capital Good Fund is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution that takes a holistic approach to fighting poverty. In helping individuals with budgeting, credit building, debt management techniques, and one-on-one financial coaching, it helps clients achieve the credit necessary to cover emergencies and other costs such as car purchases or repairs, security deposits, computers or home weatherization and empowers them to actually get ahead of the next crisis.

At the event, Rachel Wall, Capital Good Fund’s director of coaching, told attendees about resources available to them to help them budget, stick to their budget and achieve financial goals, as well as about small-dollar loan products available through the Capital Good Fund at much more reasonable rates and terms than payday loans.

“Through our one-on-one financial coaching program, we educate Rhode Islanders on how to increase their financial stability and avoid predatory financial services,” said Wall. “We will continue to collaborate with our southern Rhode Island partners to ensure that our loans and financial coaching program are accessible throughout the state.”

Representative Tanzi said the fund’s products to assist with car repairs and purchases are probably particularly useful for the people of South County, where, unfortunately, there is very little public transit available to help those without cars get to work, school or to run errands for their family.

The events sponsors said they were grateful to the Capital Good Fund for coming to town for the event and for the help it can provide to local residents.

“We are excited to have the Capital Good Fund in town to educate local residents about financial products and coaching opportunities that might help them build a bridge to economic security,” said Kate Brewster, executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale.

Said Joseph Dziobek, Welcome House’s executive director, “The Capital Good Fund can play an important role in ending homelessness by giving individuals an option to the predatory loan industry which some of our shelter guests have fallen victim to.  Getting out of debt is of major concern to shelter guests and this program with its coaching component and manageable interest rates provides a viable first step.”

For more information about the Capital Good Fund, visit www.capitalgoodfund.org

IN PHOTO: Rep. Teresa Tanzi, right, with Welcome House Executive Director Joseph Dziobek at an event this week when the Capital Good Fund visited the House to inform local residents about the services it offers. 

June 3, 2016

House passes Tanzi biliteracy seal legislation

STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives voted today to approve legislation sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi to create a “biliteracy seal” that school districts could affix to the diplomas and transcripts of high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in another language in addition to English.

The legislation is meant to recognize students who have achieved high levels of proficiency in multiple languages, encourage more to do so and help employers identify job applicants who have the sought-after skill of communicating in multiple languages.

“Knowing more than one language is a skill that is growing more useful every day as our society increasingly becomes more global. Employers in the 21st century need employees who can communicate with their customers and contacts in languages besides English, so we should be encouraging students to pursue proficiency in multiple languages. A biliteracy seal is both a distinction for the student who achieves that goal, and a way to assist employers in finding employees in Rhode Island who can offer them the sought-after skill of multilingualism,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

The legislation (2016-H 8178) would allow school districts to place a seal on the diplomas and transcripts of graduates have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in another language in addition to English. The Council on Elementary and Secondary Education would create standards by which that high level of proficiency would be measured, such as the completion of units in English and another language and/or scores on assessments in English and other languages. All modern and native languages, Latin and American Sign Language would be considered qualified foreign languages under the bill. School districts’ participation would be voluntary, and no charge to the student would be allowed.

The seal would emphasize the increasing importance of learning other languages to students whose native language is English. It would also serve as an incentive for students whose first language was one other than English not merely to maintain their first language as they learn English, but to ensure they perfect their command of it in spoken and written form so that they qualify as “highly proficient.”

Representative Tanzi, whose own South Kingstown school district offers a bilingual immersion education beginning in kindergarten at two elementary schools, said schools in Rhode Island and across America should encourage students to take their foreign language requirements seriously and make more of an effort to become truly fluent in at least one foreign language.

“Knowing another language well is a tremendous advantage in many situations, improves a job applicant’s chances of getting hired, and can open doors for people in many ways. And the younger a person begins learning another language, the better, since the brain is wired to absorb language most quickly during childhood. Anything we can do to encourage students to be fluent in other languages in addition to English is beneficial,” she said.

The bill is supported by the Department of Education. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have already passed similar legislation, and other states have pending legislation, including Massachusetts and Connecticut. There is currently a Seal of Biliteracy Working Group working with Central Falls to pilot the awarding of a district-level seal to qualified candidates in the 2016 graduating class, which will serve as a model for the state if this legislation is enacted.

“The Rhode Island public, as well as leaders in business, government, and education have called for programs that develop bilingualism and biliteracy for all learners for social, academic and economic purposes. The Rhode Island Seal of Biliteracy allows us to officially recognize the wealth of linguistic skills present in our community, including the many languages students bring from home and those learned in school, and to encourage further development of those languages in post-secondary pursuits,” said Erin Papa, director of the Rhode Island Roadmap to Language Excellence Initiative and past president of the Rhode Island Foreign Language Association.

The bill, which is cosponsored by Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown) and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), will now go to the Senate, where Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) is sponsoring its Senate companion (2016-S 2735).

June 1, 2016

Tanzi invites residents to Capital Good Fund event

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Teresa Tanzi invites South County residents to an event at Welcome House next week to introduce them to financial and educational services available to them from the Capital Good Fund.

The event, which she spearheaded, is being held at the Welcome House and cohosted by the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, is scheduled Monday, June 6, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Welcome House, 8 North Road, Peace Dale. It is free and open to the public.

“Many people find themselves in crisis from time to time, whether it is medical or personal, and need money quickly to get them through the difficulty. Unfortunately, those at the lower end of the economic scale are only able to access credit from a small sector of the banking industry that often takes advantage of them. Payday loans can quickly trap the recipients in a downward spiral of taking out loan after loan because the original crisis has knocked them off their financial footing.  These predatory loans have the promise of help, but come with astronomical interest rates. People need to know that there are some alternatives, and I am so excited to be the catalyst for bringing the Capital Good Fund to South County to offer residents financial products and educational services that will help them get on more stable economic ground,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

The event is meant to provide information about the resources the Capital Good Fund offers to Rhode Islanders to help them with small dollar loans not typically offered at traditional banks, manage their debt and improve their credit. The Capital Good Fund is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution that takes a holistic approach to fighting poverty. In helping individuals with budgeting, credit building, debt management techniques, and one-on-one financial coaching, it helps clients achieve the credit necessary to cover emergencies and other costs such as car purchases or repairs, security deposits, computers or home weatherization and empowers them to actually get ahead of the next crisis.

For more information on the Capital Good fund, visit www.capitalgoodfund.org

May 23, 2016

House OKs legislation to allow limited retail sales by breweries

Rep Tanzi and Rep Fogarty with two of South Kingstown's finest- Andy Tran from Whaler's Brewing Co. and Josh Karten from Proclamation Ale Co.

STATE HOUSE – Legislation cosponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to sell limited amounts of their products to visitors for sampling and off-site consumption has passed the House of Representatives.

The bill is intended to assist microbreweries, in particular, which are banned entirely from selling their products at retail at their plants under current law, but would like to do so to be part of the growing “beer tourism” industry.

“Microbreweries are a growing sector in Rhode Island, and we should give these hardworking small businesses the opportunity they need to get their products into the hands of consumers, who have been asking us for increased access. Many don’t realize the value these small manufacturers add to our economy, and increased sales will equal more revenue and more hiring locally,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

The legislation (2016-H 8100Aaa), whose primary sponsor is Rep. Michael A. Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket),  allows breweries, wineries and distillers to sell up to 288 ounces per day at retail to each visitor for consumption off the premises, in containers no larger than 72 ounces each. Additionally, it would enable them to sell up to 72 ounces per person per day to each visitor for consumption on the premises, allowing visitors to sample their products before purchasing. The limits are designed to allow visitors to take home up to the equivalent of four six-packs of 12-ounce bottles, while also accommodating growlers, the larger jugs popular among craft beer aficionados.

Andy Tran, owner and founder of Whaler’s Brewing in Wakefield, said, “The bill is a step forward for modern small business regulation. It helps both Whalers and Rhode Island finally grow and be competitive in this dynamic industry.”

Legislators worked with local brewers to develop the legislation, including Dorian Rave, the owner of Ravenous Brewing Company in Woonsocket.

Rave said being able to let visitors sample and leave with his products is critical to building his brand, and without that ability, it’s hard to attract visitors and spread awareness of his company.

“We’re a little off the beaten path in Woonsocket, and this gives people a reason to visit. It gives us the opportunity to provide samples and let the public try our product to increase knowledge of it,” said Rave. “It also levels the playing field, since we’re surrounded by states that already allow it.”

Brent Ryan, the owner of Newport Storm Brewery and president of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild said tremendous growth of the beer tourism industry over the last decade has helped small breweries develop a following, and Rhode Island should help its brewers take part.

“Changing the rules, encouraging visitation, helps us get our brands out. These are small companies that don’t have big marketing budgets,” he said.

The bill passed the House May 19, and has been transferred to the Senate. Other cosponsors include Rep. Stephen M. Casey (D-Dist. 50, Woonsocket), Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket) and Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown).

In photo: Representatives Teresa Tanzi, second from left, and Kathleen Fogarty host Andy Tran, left, of Whaler’s Brewing Compan, and Joshua Karten of Proclamation Brewing Company, who visited the State House on May 19 to watch the House pass legislation that will assist microbrewers.

May 20, 2016

Issue briefs bolster argument for reining in youth tobacco access, e-cigarettes, says Tanzi

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Teresa Tanzi urged fellow lawmakers to support stronger measures aimed at reducing youth tobacco use today, as the Rhode Island Public Health Association released issue briefs showing overall tobacco use and the popularity of e-cigarettes are both on the rise among Rhode Island youth.

“Clearly, we must do more to prevent adolescents from becoming hooked on tobacco products, or we risk losing some of the gains we’ve made in reducing smoking in recent years. The data shows us that we can’t concentrate only on cigarettes, because the industry has shrewdly turned its focus on other products, particularly e-cigarettes, promoting them as a safer alternative,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett). “Anti-smoking initiatives need to keep pace with the changing industry and its efforts to hook young people. The overwhelming majority of tobacco users start young, and public health efforts need to be targeted at the products they’re using to protect new generations of Rhode Islanders from the lethal effects of lifelong tobacco use.”

The briefs, which were released today at a State House event with a panel discussion that included Representative Tanzi, Sen. Joshua Miller, Erin Boles Welsh of the Rhode Island Department of Health Tobacco Program and Jennifer Wall of Tobacco Free Rhode Island, show that e-cigarettes were the mostly commonly used tobacco product among Rhode Island high school students in 2015, with 19.3 percent of respondents the National Youth Tobacco Survey saying they currently used them. The same survey showed 4.8 percent of respondents reported currently smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Without stringent public health laws governing the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems the marketplace is vulnerable for middle school and high school consumption,” said the brief on youth tobacco use.

“Many Rhode Islanders, including many of our legislators don’t realize that tobacco use among youth is increasing. Most of that increase is directly due to use of eCigarettes,” said Dr. Patricia Risica, advocacy chairperson of RIPHA, who facilitated the panel discussion.

Representative Tanzi has introduced legislation aimed at both reducing youth tobacco youth overall, and at reining in the use of electronic nicotine systems. Her bills would raise the minimum age to purchase all tobacco products in Rhode Island from 18 to 21 (2016-H 7737), and prohibit the use of electronic nicotine-delivery system products in enclosed public places and enclosed facilities within places of employment (2016-H 7664).

She said while the briefs contain some glimmers of hope — that Rhode Island has the third-lowest youth smoking rate in the county — they also provide ample evidence to demonstrate that more needs to be done to prevent Rhode Island youth from becoming addicted to tobacco products.

“Every year, 700 more Rhode Island children become daily smokers. Most will smoke for years if not their entire lives, putting them at much higher risk for serious illness, poor overall health and shorter lives. We should not settle for this status quo, which costs lives and a tremendous amount of preventable health care costs year after year,” said Representative Tanzi.

May 17, 2016

Tanzi named 2016 Earth Day Champion

 Rep. Teresa Tanzi with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse at Clean Water Action’s annual Breakfast of Champions, where she was honored for her sponsorship of successful legislation to phase out cesspools throughout Rhode Island.

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Teresa Tanzi has been honored by Clean Water Action for her sponsorship of law passed last year to phase out cesspools throughout Rhode Island.

Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) received the organization’s Earth Day Champion award last week at its annual Breakfast of Champions.

Representative Tanzi was chosen for the award after many years of sponsoring legislation to amend the Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007, which required the phase-out of cesspools located within 200 feet of a shoreline, wetland or drinking water supply. The bill (2016-H 5668A), which passed the General Assembly and became law last year, provides for the eventual removal of all cesspools beyond the previously set boundaries. It requires that any cesspool be replaced upon the sale or transfer of the property where the cesspool is located.

“Since her election in 2010, Representative Tanzi has proven herself to be a leader on environmental issues in the General Assembly. Clean Water Action is fortunate to count her as a legislative ally, and we are proud to recognize her as a Champion this year. The work she has done toward phasing out the use of cesspools in our state will undoubtedly improve the water quality of our rivers, lakes, streams, and Narragansett Bay, and enhance the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders,” said Johnathan Berard, Rhode Island state director for Clean Water Action.