BEST & WORST BILLS of 2016; PC Food Police in Schools Among Worst

April 18, 2016
Elitist PC Food Police Would Limit School Ads to Government-Approved Products Only

Providence, RI — With students on break this week, they themselves would get a break from legislation that would restrict their exposure to only government approved food brands, as proposed by two bills that rank among the worst this session, according to the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which today updated its list of the BEST and WORST bills of the 2016 General Assembly session.

In yet more politically-correct, anti-business, and anti-family pieces of legislation, H 7487 and S 2673, with lead sponsors Representative Joseph McNamara (D, Warwick) and Senator Susan Sosnowski (D, W. Kingston) respectivelywould prohibit schools from even advertising any non-government approved food product. In restricting individual choice and interfering in the free-market, government elitists in the form of food police, are once again seeking to impose their narrow views on our broader society.

At a higher level, once again General Assembly lawmakers in 2016 are on track to continue a multi-year, negative trend of public policy that will reduce economic justice for Rhode Islanders. This according to the 2016 General Assembly Freedom Index, an interactive, live tool published by the nonpartisan Center.

Also of note, 12 individual lawmakers currently have scores above zero, while in 2015 not a single Representative or Senator earned a positive score.

Lawmakers and the public are encouraged to visit the “Legislation” tab on the 2016 Freedom Index to determine the bill rankings for the majority of bills that have been rated, but not yet voted on. The “Summary” tab displays individual lawmaker scores.

Summary: As of April 15, of the 277 bills that have qualified for the index:

  • 202 bills are rated negatively, with only 73 bills receiving a positive score, and 3 yet to receive a rating
  • The negative bills would total a (-315) cumulative score, if all were to be voted on, while the positive bills would produce a +104 score, resulting in a net (-211) overall General Assembly rating
  • Led by Senator John Pagliarini (R, Portsmouth) just 12 of 113 lawmakers can currently boast a positive individual score, consisting of 1 Democrat, 9 Republicans, and 2 Independents; with 3 in the Senate and 9 in the House (see Summary tab)

Although not all 2016 bills have received final ratings, it is clear that the few positive pieces of legislation are massively outweighed by the much greater number of negative bills, resulting in a net negative impact, as has occurred in all prior years evaluated. The Center notes that not all bills have received final reviews and that the public should check back regularly for updated bill ratings and legislator rankings.

Additional resources are available on the main RI Freedom Index page, including a number of online and interactive tools and information for users, with links to scores from prior years:

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise research and advocacy organization. The nonprofit Center is funded entirely by private tax-deductible donations and never accepts public funding. The mission of the 501-C-3 organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.