Representative Teresa Tanzi’s record is full of action for House District 34 of Narragansett, Wakefield and Peace Dale: Legislative bills, experience, awards and recognition of her devotion to her constituents. This is in the public record and provides all the information a voter needs to know in order to make a choice.
Space allows only a few facts of many to be noted here about Tanzi’s two terms. Tanzi ranks second highest in the General Assembly on the Common Cause Score Board and 100 percent for Ethics and Elections/ Campaigns. Northern Rhode Island YWCA named her a rising political star in 2012.
At the invitation of the White House, Tanzi was chosen as a delegate to the first White House Summit on Working Families. Just last week, she was again invited by President Obama to meet and discuss policy initiatives they both champion, such as the newly passed legislation in Rhode Island allowing working families up to four weeks paid leave for family crises.
In May, she introduced a bill to offset fisheries and farming loss resulting from renewable energy projects like Deepwater Wind. The fishing industry, already highly regulated, stands to lose access to fishing areas that have been guaranteed since the 1600s. Advocates of both the energy and fishing industries support the legislation.
She introduced legislation that requires Rhode Island health care laws to comply with the Affordable Care Act, the national law, to make the system easier to use in Rhode Island.
Her highlight legislation was the “good time” bill, which prevents criminals convicted of serious offenses from being released early for merely good behavior.
Her concern for over testing led to her earlier introduction of Bill 2014 H-7256. The General Assembly later passed similar legislation, eliminating NECAP as a requirement for high school graduation until 2017. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, long a proponent of NECAP, recommended extending the date until 2020 and acknowledged the need to study and quantify the amount of student and teacher time spent on testing in each school.
Bills Tanzi introduced or championed include marriage equality, forming a task force to review gun control legislation, lactation consultant licensing to help new mothers and babies, closing a corporate tax loophole that hurt small businesses and urging the Student Loan Authority of Rhode Island to consolidate student loans, among many others. Experience is an essential component, and Tanzi has amassed that experience in widely varied aspects of government.
It so often said that qualified women should participate in government. Here, we have Teresa Tanzi, wife, mother and experienced legislator. We are fortunate she is working for us here in House District 34.
Nancy K. Bivona