House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is recommending state Representative Joseph McNamara (D-Warwick) as the next chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party.
McNamara was first elected in 1994 and chairs the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, although he may be best known for championing a bill to make calamari the state's official appetizer. The legislation became law this year, after dying in the state Senate in 2013.
Calamari is now Rhode Island’s official state appetizer. At the signing ceremony, Governor Lincoln Chaffee said this bill is an important way to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry, despite the pushback he got for it.
“And I said to myself, you know [despite] all the cynicism about, ‘Why are you doing this with an appetizer when there are so many more important things to do?’ I went back to Rep. McNamara and Sen. Sosnowski and I said, ‘Let’s get that calamari bill. The fisherman want it!’”
A Rhode Island House committee aims to find out why a health care company failed to win a license to provide home pain management services in the state. Pentec withdrew its application, but the controversy continues.
Pentec is a company that provides specialty services for patients using complicated medical devices, such as pain pumps. These are devices that are implanted to help control pain that’s otherwise unmanageable. Pentec nurses can visit patients at home to refill their pain pumps. And some say that’s critical for patients who find it too painful to travel for a refill.