Welcome

Dear Friends,

I have never forgotten who I was sent to the State House to represent. As a mom in the community, I am reminded every day of all that is at stake. Our neighborhoods, our education system, our rights – these are my daily priorities. During my years as a senator, I have worked diligently to ensure that your family and mine can continue to thrive in District 27.

Another successful legislative session is behind us. We worked hard and achieved much towards my chief goal of always doing what is best for the people I represent in Senate District 27, and for the good of the state as a whole.

As Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, I have been particularly focused on education issues. I believe that education is critical to a strong economy. Business leaders want to locate in communities where they can find talented, qualified workers, and where they know their own children will receive quality schooling. Individuals gain the knowledge and skills they need to improve their lives through education.

I was particularly pleased to support a $22 million increase in state aid to education, including a $4.6 million increase to Cranston schools and a $1.9 million increase to West Warwick schools. This state education aid not only ensures our students have the resources they need, it also decreases pressures on the local property tax to fund education.

The first fair and equitable school funding formula the state has had in 15 years was established through legislation I sponsored in 2010. Its full funding each year since has meant similar increases in state support for schools in Cranston and West Warwick each and every year.

Similarly, legislation I sponsored is ensuring full funding through the aid formula for full-day kindergarten programs.

To help ensure that every student can access to higher education, we have fully funded the Rhode Island Promise program, which provides free tuition at CCRI.

I also strongly supported making a once-in-a-generation investment in school facilities. A $250 million bond question on the November ballot will help to improve the condition of schools throughout our state.

Investments we are making in education at all levels – from pre-kindergarten through higher education – are helping to ensure all Rhode Island students are prepared for a modern, knowledge economy.

I also worked on legislation this year to improve safety in our schools, including establishment of a school safety review team to assist schools in meeting safety goals.

To better ensure the safety of our community, this session I sponsored legislation to improve notification requirements when sex offenders reside at shelters like Harrington Hall, and to limit the number of offenders permitted at Harrington Hall and similar shelters. I supported increased funding to get offenders out of this temporary shelter and into long-term housing solutions that better meet the safety standards within our state law.

I also sponsored legislation to hold accountable drug dealers who knowingly mix deadly substances, such as fentanyl, into the drugs they are distributing. This legislation is named in honor of Kristen Coutu, a young woman from Cranston who died as a result of a deadly dose of fentanyl in 2014.

This session I was also proud to sponsor a new law requiring that mastectomies and costs related to mastectomies be covered by medical insurance.

In previous years, besides education, economic development and public safety matters, I also sponsored legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace against pregnant women.

We gave communities a financial stake in enforcement of litter laws by enabling them to keep 30 percent of the fines levied. This is intended to help keep communities clean through increased enforcement, while providing cities and towns another potential revenue stream to offset reliance on property taxes.

I also sponsored legislation to include measures to ensure that insurance companies don’t discriminate through higher premiums against victims of domestic abuse, as well as legislation to help the disabled get temporary disability placards for their vehicles while they await their permanent placards.

I look forward to continuing to serve as a strong voice for you on Smith Hill.

It has been an honor to represent my community in the Senate, and I look forward to continuing to work on your behalf in 2019.

Sincerely,

Hanna M. Gallo
State Senator