Gregg Amore

James Baumgartner / RIPR

Even though they are illegal, it’s the season of March Madness and gambling pools.

Now, an East Providence state representative wants to make those bracket basketball bets legal in Rhode Island.

Rep. Gregg Amore, a Democrat, has introduced a bill to make `social gaming’ in private residences, taverns and private clubs legal, so long is there is a `social relationship’ among bettors and no person other than bettors receive anything of value.

RIPR FILE

A new bill introduced at the general assembly could ban the use of plastic bags across the state.  It’s the latest attempt to ban plastic bags in the last several years.

The bill would gradually phase out the use of plastic bags over the course of two years at retail stores such as grocery, and convenience stores.  Over the past three years similar bills have some received public support, but failed in the General Assembly.  

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers are slated to consider a bill Wednesday that takes on one of the  most contentious issues in public education. The bill calls for a commission to study the Common Core Standards, a new set of national standards for K-12 classrooms.

Rhode Island teachers are already using the standards, and they will soon give students a new standardized test to go with them, but a growing number of critics charge the standards are stressing students out.

State lawmakers are scheduled to consider a bill that could have major consequences for classrooms across the state.

The bill, sponsored by East Providence Representative Gregg Amore, would halt the adoption of new standardized testing, known as PARCC, which is linked to the Common Core, a new set of national standards for public schools. The bill is scheduled for a committee hearing on Wednesday.

Rhode Island has begun adopting the standards, although opponents charge they are untested and require further study.

Rhode Island state representative Gregg Amore is proposing a crackdown on drunk drivers.  Under a bill he submitted, drivers with a DUI conviction or those who refuse a breath test would be required to have ignition interlock systems installed in their cars. The device requires a driver to submit to a breath test before starting their car.  

Seventeen other states have similar laws, including Connecticut and New York.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, states where ignition interlock programs have significantly reduced recidivism rates.