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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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