• Rhode Island lawmakers meet for rare Saturday session

    By: DYLAN McGUINNESS, Associated Press

    Updated:
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island lawmakers convened for a rare Saturday session to finish their legislative business.

    Both chambers met Saturday to pass their final bills. The lawmakers had hoped to finish the session Friday.

    House spokesman Larry Berman said they were mostly tying up loose ends. The chambers appeared to reach a last-day compromise about changing the name of the state's main airport.

    The House voted Thursday to change the name of T.F. Green Airport to Rhode Island International Airport. Several lawmakers opposed that measure and said it erased important state history. Green was a governor and U.S. senator.

    A senate version would make the name "Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport." Berman said the House would likely adopt that language.

    Lawmakers passed measures to expunge records for people who are convicted of crimes that are later decriminalized, streamline the registration process for food trucks and ensure death certificates reflect people's gender identity.

    They also approved a bill that would reduce school-zone speed-camera tickets from $95 to $50 and limit ticketing hours to weekdays when schools are in session; passed a bill that would add a new exemption to the state's public records law for evaluations of public school employees; and approved creating, and allowing to unionize, a new class of "independent" home-care workers, the Providence Journal reported.

    Their highest-profile bills were settled just before the weekend. Both chambers approved a bill late Friday to help secure the Pawtucket Red Sox's future in the state, and Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the state's budget for next year.

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