Environmental Groups To Lobby Lawmakers On Key Bills

Apr 30, 2014

The Environment Council of Rhode Island will host its annual Earth Day at the Statehouse Wednesday.  The event is also called Earth Lobby Day.

Dozens of environmental group will descend on the Statehouse Wednesday to advocate for green legislation.
Credit Don Boorman

The coalition of more than 60 environmental groups wants to bring attention to key environmental bills under consideration, as state lawmakers begin the last leg of the 2014 legislative session. 

Channing Jones, campaign director of Environment Rhode Island, a member of the coalition, said the event is an opportunity for the environmental community to do a group push for priorities they share.

“So on one hand it’s about lobbying lawmakers on some of these key issues," said Jones, "and on the other hand it’s about mobilizing our community--to get them involved in the legislative process for those who aren’t always there at the statehouse and can’t always be there.”

Jones said the event will kick off with brief talks by Janet Coit, the director of the Department of Environmental Management, State Rep. Art Handy, chair of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, and State Sen. Susan Sosnowski, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture. 

Earth Lobby Day will focus on the  Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond under the Governor's fiscal year 2015 budget, the Resilient Rhode Island Act, the Plastic Waste Reduction Act, a bill to create a statewide composting program, a bill to restore the Energy Tax Credit, and a bill to expand the Distributed Generation Growth Program.

“So one of our strong messages to lawmakers and to the public is that protecting our environment is about protecting our quality of life, protecting the world around us, and protecting our economic vitality," said Jones.

Around the statehouse rotunda, a number of groups will have tables geared towards educating lawmakers about some of the work that environmental groups are doing, both inside and outside of the statehouse, said Jones. 

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