Bills to legalize pot, kill HealthSource stall - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Bills to legalize pot, kill HealthSource stall

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PROVIDENCE -

The General Assembly recessed for the year without taking action on a range of high-profile bills, including legislation to legalize marijuana and turn over Rhode Island's health insurance marketplace to the federal government.

House and Senate bills that would have legalized marijuana - and taxed and regulated it like alcohol - stalled in committee. A bill directing the governor to turn over operations of HealthSource RI also did not get a vote. Some lawmakers have questioned the cost to the state of operating the health insurance marketplace, which is part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Several gun measures, including one to ban semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, also got stuck in committee.

Other bills that died would have:

  • Lowered the state's 7 percent sales tax. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, D-Cranston, has said he would like to lower the sales tax but indicated that corporate and estate tax cuts were a higher priority this session.
  • Created a special commission to investigate the failed loan guarantee to ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.
  • Prohibited retailers statewide from using plastic bags.
  • Addressed racial profiling by standardizing traffic and pedestrian stop procedures and requiring police officers to document their probable cause for stops.

The General Assembly concluded its 2014 session before dawn Saturday.

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