The O’Grady Bill Before the RI House Finance Committee

May 2, 2012 by  | Bio |  3 Comment »

On Wednesday, May 9, House Bill 7581 (the O’Grady Bill) will be heard in the House Finance Committee of the Rhode Island General Assembly. The O’Grady Bill is a key legislative priority of Rhode Island’s environmental movement. The hearing is at 1:00 PM in Room 35 of the State House (Room 35 is in the basement). The O’Grady Bill would provide vitally needed funding for public transit in Rhode Island.

CLF members and friends are invited to attend the May 9 hearing on the O’Grady bill in order to show support for it.

Here in Rhode Island, as in the rest of New England, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions – and the fastest growing. The simple fact is that the climate change emergency cannot (and will not) be addressed until and unless we address transportation emissions. By funding public transit in Rhode Island, the O’Grady Bill would provide an effective means of reducing vehicle miles traveled in private automobiles and an effective means of reducing overall carbon emissions.

That is why the Environment Council of Rhode Island, the coalition of over 80 Rhode Island environmental organizations has made the O’Grady Bill one of its top legislative priorities for 2012.

Another broad coalition, the Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC) is also supporting the O’Grady Bill. CLF was instrumental in creating the CTC, and, in my capacity as a CLF Staff Attorney, I serve as CTC’s Co-Chair. At the May 9 hearing, I will be presenting to the House Finance Committee letters of support for the O’Grady Bill from a wide range of community organizations, ranging from the Providence Chamber of Commerce to the Transit Workers Union. We are hoping that this broad range of support will translate to legislative support.

Environmentalists in Rhode Island can take a concrete step to address carbon emissions in Rhode Island by coming to the May 9 House Finance Committee hearing (1:00 PM, Room 35) to testify in favor of the O’Grady Bill.

I’ll be there, and I’d be delighted to see you there, too.


3 Responses to “The O’Grady Bill Before the RI House Finance Committee”

  1. Don Rhodes

    I plan on speaking on behalf of RIPTA Riders. Don Rhodes, RIPTA RIDERS Legislative Lobbyist

    • Rob Leeson



  2. barry

    I appreciate that the CLF is working on this. At a $4 million projected deficit, the cuts RIPTA outlined last year were bad enough – loss of holiday, much weekend, and evening services, some lines cancelled entirely or cut back in length – at a projected $8 million deficit for next year it will be considerably worse. As of now, this is the only bill before the RI Assembly to address the deficit so I think transit users really do need to show support, by showing up at the hearing even if not testifying formally.