Tuesday, May 7, 2013
State Sen. James Sheehan explains why he voted in favor of the historic bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
To the editor, After long and admittedly difficult deliberation, I decided to support extending civil legal rights, benefits and privileges of marriage to same gender couples. Please allow me to explain how I arrived at this decision. I concur with the Catholic Church that our nation and state suffer from a growing "moral relativism," a social deterioration propelled by an unrestrained pursuit of selfish desires over "love for thy neighbor." I also firmly believe that holy matrimony should and ought to remain a sacred union between a man and a woman that has been blessed by God's representatives on earth. Further, while the state may recognize same gender marriages, the state is constitutionally-bound to respect the religious convictions …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Sen. James Sheehan says that name change of the Rhode Island EDC is only the beginning.
To the editor, This time, it has to be different. Economic development in Rhode Island – attracting and growing businesses, creating good jobs for our citizens, improving our state’s overall fiscal climate – is not just about changing an agency’s name or doing a public relations campaign. With national reports, statistics and surveys essentially telling business to think twice about operating in Rhode Island, our state’s response must be dramatic and comprehensive and sustained. There is enormous focus this legislative session on improving Rhode Island’s ailing economy and erasing the state’s anti-business aura. Coupled with the Rhode Island Senate’s introduction early this year of the “Moving the Needle” package of business-friendly, …
Monday, April 8, 2013
In January, Commissioner Gist notified RI's superintendents that she would take "severe" action against any district using seniority, job fairs or bumping to assign, keep or lay off teachers.
The following is a letter from State Sen. James Sheehan (D – North Kingstown, Narragansett) to Eva Marie Mancuso, chair of the Rhode Island Board of Education. Dear Chairwoman Mancuso, I write to express my concerns with the recent directive issued on January 31, 2013, by Commissioner Deborah Gist to school superintendents throughout the state. Commissioner Gist warned superintendents that she would take “severe action against any district that is using seniority, job fairs or bumping to assign, keep or lay off teachers." In a four-page letter, Commissioner Gist further threatened to impose sanctions "up to and including loss of certification," taking districts to court, or withholding state education aid unless they comply with her …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Should Rhode Island have an inspector general?
Information in the following article was provided by a press release from the Rhode Island General Assembly. Following an independent report that reportedly found waste in Rhode Island's Medicaid program, State Sen. James Sheehan (D – North Kingstown, Narragansett) is calling for Rhode Island to get its own inspector general. According to Sheehan, states like Louisiana and New York have dedicated inspector generals tasked with preventing and detecting waste, mismanagement, abuse, fraud and corruption in state government. "We need to make sure that the state is spending taxpayer money wisely and appropriately and we should not be dependent on private, outside reports to find out if there are problems," said Sheehan. Senator Sheehan has …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
NK Democratic Town Committee Chair thanks local legislators for pushing for the retention of free commuter parking.
Wednesday, January 23
To the editor, The North Kingstown Democratic Town Committee would like to take the opportunity to thank Senator James Sheehan and Representative Robert Craven for their ongoing efforts in ensuring that the people of North Kingstown have access to a free public parking lot. Both Senator Sheehan and Representative Craven made it clear in press statements released from their offices that it is not acceptable for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to sell the current state owned public parking lot at the corners of Route 2 and 102 without creating another alternate free public parking lot in North Kingstown. Senator Sheehan has written to the DOT, and both have asked that an alternate free parking lot be provided by DOT should they sell …
Friday, January 11, 2013
The Park and Ride at Route 2 and 102 may be sold to CVS.
North Kingstown state legislators are speaking out against the potential loss of one of NK’s Park and Ride lots. According to press releases from Rep. Doreen Costa, Rep. Robert Craven and Sen. James Sheehan, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is looking to sell the Park and Ride property located at the corner of Route 2 and 102. For some time, there has been a proposal before the DOT to sell the property to CVS and move the parking area a quarter-mile up the road to another plot of land on Route 2. The sale between the two parties is currently pending. According to information relayed to both Sen. Sheehan and Rep. Craven, that land is no longer considered feasible as an alternate location for the Park and Ride. “I really …
Friday, January 4, 2013
Sen. James Sheehan has been appointed chair of the State Senate Oversight Committee.
Sen. James Sheehan (D - North Kingstown, Narragansett) has been appointed as chair of the Senate Committee on Government Oversight for the 2013-2014 General Assembly session. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed made the announcement Wednesday that Sheehan, who is serving his seventh term in the Rhode Island State Senate, would move from the committee's vice chair to the top spot. The Senate Committee on Government Oversight considers appointments of the governor that are sent to it by the Senate for advice and consent. The committee also monitors and evaluates past, current and prospective performance of public bodies and statutory entities, including quasi-public agencies; considers the organization, reorganization, creation or …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
In a session full of pomp, circumstance, family and friends, the members of the 2013-14 General Assembly convene for the first time.
Democrat Robert E. Craven was one of only 16 new members of the Rhode Island General Assembly sworn in Tuesday at the State House. Craven joined the House's 75 other members during the swearing in ceremony, which saw Rep. Gordon D. Fox retain his seat as Speaker of the House. Craven beat out Republican incumbent Rep. Laurence Ehrhardt in November elections, following a tough primary between Ehrhardt and fellow Republican Sharon Gamba. Though it will be Craven's first term in the General Assembly, he's no stranger to politics. In the 1990s, he served on the North Kingstown Town Council and was Assistant Attorney General in the 1980s. Also sworn in on the House side was Rep. Doreen Costa (R - NK, Exeter) who beat out her Democratic …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sen. James Sheehan, who retained his seat for a 6th term, thanks his supporters.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Dear editor, I wish to thank all of the voters who supported me in my re-election to the Rhode Island State Senate. I appreciate the vote of confidence and will affirm that confidence by again rolling-up my sleeves and taking-on the tough issues that face our state. Specifically, I will continue to focus on making our state government perform more efficiently and effectively; help our workers get the job skills they need to succeed: and continue to work to improve our state’s overall business climate. I also wish to thank all those who placed signs on their lawns; walked door-to-door; worked the polls or simply passed along a kind word or two about my candidacy to a friend or neighbor. Again, I thank you for the honor and privilege …
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Richard and Catherine Pastore explain why they're voting for Sen. James Sheehan.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
To the editor, We have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jim Sheehan for the last 20 years. We have worked together to oppose the proposed container port and the casino in West Warwick, among other things. We find him to be diligent, thoughtful and highly engaged for the betterment of his district and Rhode Island. He has been on the right side of some very difficult votes in the General Assembly, among them pension reform that had a direct negative impact on him. Jim has an impressive depth of knowledge on most issues, but he thoroughly researches those concerns of his constituents that he may not be completely familiar with, and he brings a sharp mind and a keen sense of fairness to that research. Jim Sheehan’s experience…