The Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns represents 39 distinctive communities bringing their collective interests together to form a powerful alliance. The League works to advocate for local control on behalf of its members. In so doing, all legislation proposed by the General Assembly is analyzed by League staff to determine any financial, personnel, regulatory authority, or local government administrative impact. On average, the League reviews nearly five thousand pieces of legislation during each session. When a bill is determined to impact municipalities, it is tracked throughout the legislative session.
League staffers work to explain local impact to bill sponsors either in support or opposition to the proposed legislation. The League testifies on more than 500 bills per session. Whenever possible, the League will suggest amendments to any problematic bills. In circumstances of proposed legislation that is determined to have unacceptable and onerous consequences for cities and towns, the bill sponsors are informed by the League of the intention to openly oppose the passage of the bill in committee hearings.
The League also examines the state’s budget and its articles to assess the impact on existing aid programs and determine whether any new mandates or initiatives would impact cities and towns.
During the General Assembly session, the League is in constant communication with its members to inform them of the legislature’s activities through weekly legislative tracking updates, publications, and other research reports.
The League’s Legislative Priorities for 2020 include the following areas:
- Workforce Management
- State Budget & Aid to Cities and Towns
- Housing & Infrastructure
- Economic Development
- Property Taxes
- Local Control & State Pre-emption
- Other Ongoing Issues and Challenges