As Rhode Island Senate Democrats caucused inside Providence bar Ladder 133 about the deal worked out between Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello to end the budget stand-off, two members of the Woman Project were encouraging passers by to honk their horns in support of women’s reproductive rights. At issue is the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA), which would codify Roe v Wade into Rhode Island state law. The bill is presently stuck in committee in both houses of the General Assembly, and is unlikely to move, say legislators, unless a Donald Trump stacked Supreme Court attempts to overturn Roe.
Jordan Hevenor and Emily Boucher stood across the street from the caucus at the Armenian Heritage Park and held signs that said, “Honk if you are pro-choice.” The pair engaged pedestrians in conversations about reproductive rights and got signatures on petitions in support of the RHCA.
Hevenor and Boucher represent thousands of Rhode Island women who do not want to wait until their reproductive rights are threatened on the federal level before protecting them at the state level. They want the General Assembly to codify Roe v. Wade into state law now.
Across the street and inside Ladder 133, Senate President Ruggerio was briefing the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on the deal he had worked out with Speaker Mattiello. The caucus was not held to get input from Senators about resolving the standoff, it was held to inform the Senators of the decisions made during a series of “productive meetings” between the leaders of the two houses.
It was decided that the Senate will reconvene on Thursday to pass the budget, allowing Governor Gina Raimondo plenty of time to sign the budget into law before too much damage has been done. On September 19 the General Assembly will, according a a press release, “take up other pieces of legislation that did not get addressed before the end of the session. Details regarding which bills will be addressed in September are still being worked out between the House and the Senate.”
The special Fall session would be an excellent time to get the RHCA out of committee and onto the floors of both Houses for a vote…