Rep. Deborah Ruggiero announced today she plans to seek re-election to the House of Representatives.
“I’m honored to serve on behalf of my friends and neighbors in Jamestown and Middletown as their strong and articulate voice at the State House. My work on the 4 E’s — environment, economy, education and the elderly — has resonated in all of my legislative priorities including the Renewable Energy Program, the Rhode Island Safe School Act, and working for additional funding for our seniors,” says Representative Ruggiero, “I take my job as advocate very seriously and make sure that the needs of Jamestown and Middletown are addressed by the state. It’s about listening and being responsive. I would be honored to continue the work I’ve started, with the support of the voters of Jamestown and Middletown.”
Representative Ruggiero, a Democrat, was first elected in 2008 as the representative from District 74 in Jamestown and Middletown. A Deputy Majority Leader, this year she became the chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee. She serves as a member of the House Finance Committee and is the chairwoman of its Subcommittee on Environment and Transportation. She is also the co-chairwoman of the Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning.
Representative Ruggiero has championed legislation assisting the agricultural and seafood communities, improving home care patient rights, expanding renewable energy opportunities and supporting economic development at Rhode Island’s ports. She co-chaired the Joint Port Facilities Study Commission, which developed several recommendations to help the state’s economy.
As chairperson of the Small Business Renewable Energy Commission, she helped enact several comprehensive renewable energy laws to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels. She has sponsored numerous renewable energy laws, including several encouraging distributed generation. This week the governor signed into law legislation she sponsored to create third-party financing and virtual net metering for affordable housing, creating jobs in the clean energy sector and increasing renewable energy.
In 2014, she co-chaired the task force that studied the nexus of mental health laws and gun rights following the 2012 Newtown, Conn., school shooting and sponsored the resulting law requiring Rhode Island to submit more data to the national database used to screen gun purchases. Representative Ruggiero was the sponsor of the Safe Schools Act, Rhode Island’s anti-bullying law. She also sponsored legislation to remove regulations on small businesses.
In 2012, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association named her “Legislator of the Year” for her approach to health care issues. In 2011, the YWCA Northern Rhode Island recognized her as “a rising political star.”
Aside from her legislative duties, she is president of DR Communications Group, an advertising and marketing company. The native Rhode Islander is the creator and host of the award-winning radio show, “Amazing Women,” that highlights Rhode Island women that make a difference. She is also a member of Save the Bay and Jamestown Rotary. A resident of Jamestown, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She’s an avid golfer and loves to cook.
“I plan to keep working hard to serve the needs of Jamestown and Middletown, to help create thoughtful policy that brings jobs, prosperity and sustainability to our whole state, and to deserve the trust of the people of District 74. I look forward to speaking with many citizens during this election season, and as always, I welcome all residents to contact me if they would like to talk about any topic. I love campaigning. It’s an enjoyable way to speak with constituents and engage in good conversations on important issues. It’s how I learn what people want me to work and vote on, and that input is pivotal to my work,” said Representative Ruggiero.
[From a press release]