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Current Legislation

House Bill 7577 – Requires the implementation of the ‘Civic Literacy Act’ for all students between the eighth and twelfth grades.

RI House Bill 7577
Sponsors: Rep. Brian Newberry [R], Rep. Gregg Amore [D], Rep. Rebecca Kislak [D], Rep. Lauren Carson [D], Rep. John Edwards [D].

Citing the need for all citizens to be knowledgeable about democratic principles and practices, this bill requires that all students between grades 8 and 12 complete a course in American Civics proficiency, to promote good citizenship and an understanding of fundamental democratic principles through civic education.

…Proficiency in civics education means the development of civics knowledge regarding the history and heritage of the United States, foundational documents, and the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local documents, as well as the development of skills to access, analyze, debate and evaluate media, historical trends, and public policy issues related to the common good.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here.

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate.

    • Write an Email

      To both your State Representative and your State Senator, or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy – be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

      Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

      Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

      Dear _____:

      I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

      Sincerely,

      Your Name, Address
      (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    …about your outreach and THANK YOU – you are helping create a more media literate world!

  • Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

Pam Steager, Rhode Island chapter leader
Get in touch with her at psteager@gmail.com

RI House Bill 7577

Feb 13, 2020 – House: Introduced, referred to House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.
Feb 28, 2020 – Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (3/4/2020).

Existing Law

Requires the Department of Education to consider incorporating media literacy education in the basic education program.

This law, based on Media Literacy Now’s national model, amends Rhode Island’s General Laws by adding the following section:

  • Instruction in media literacy. The department of elementary and secondary education shall consider, in consultation with national or statewide organizations focused on media literacy, the incorporation of media literacy education into the board of education’s basic education program regulations.

“Media literacy” means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and communicate using a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, print, visual, audio, interactive, and digital texts.

Senate Bill 106 / House Bill 5664

RI Senate Bill 106
February 1, 2017 – Senate; Introduced and referred to Senate Education Committee.
May 11, 2017 – Senate read and passed.
May 12, 2017 – Referred to House Health, Education and Welfare Committee.
June 27, 2017 – Placed on the House Consent Calendar (06/27/2017); House passed in concurrence.
July 19, 2017 – Senate; Signed by Governor.

RI House Bill 5664
March 1, 2017 – House; Introduced and referred to House Health, Education and Welfare Committee.
Mar 22, 2017 – Joint; Committee recommended measure be held for further study.
June 21, 2017 – House; Committee recommends passage.
June 26, 2017 – House read and passed.
June 27, 2017 – Placed on Senate Calendar (06/29/2017).
June 29, 2017 – Senate passed in concurrence.
July 18, 2017 – House; Signed by Governor.

Recent Legislation

Senate Bill 2540 / House Bill 7537 – Prohibits a person from electronically disseminating visual images of another engaged in sexually explicit conduct where a reasonable person would know the image was to remain private.

RI Senate Bill 2540
Sponsors: Sen. Erin Lynch Prata [D], Sen. Erin Lynch Prata [D], Sen. Hanna Gallo [D], Sen. Susan Sosnowski [D], Sen. Donna Nesselbush [D].

RI House Bill 7537
Sponsors: Rep. Robert Craven [D], Rep. Hagan McEntee [D], Rep. John Lombardi [D].

In her vetoes of these bills, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo questioned their constitutionality and expressed concern regarding First Amendment interpretation. She indicated that she would be open to a new law, “without implicating other types of constitutionally protected speech,” in the next legislative session.

Providence Business News report about the veto. 

Statement by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, challenging Raimondo’s decision. 

RI Senate Bill 2540 

RI House Bill 7537

These bills, designed to criminalize revenge porn in Rhode Island, were vetoed by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo on June 20th, 2016.

Feb 25, 2016. Introduced, referred to Senate Judiciary.
Mar 8, 2016. Committee recommended measure be held for further study.
May 12, 2016. Committee recommends passage.
May 26, 2016. Senate read and passed.
May 27, 2016. Referred to House Judiciary.
Jun 8, 2016. Committee recommends passage in concurrence.
Jun 14, 2016. House passed in concurrence.
Jun 20, 2016. Vetoed by Governor.

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