STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) that would preserve the history and open space of the State House grounds.
The legislation (2018-H 7072) would prohibit the development of any land contiguous to the State House unless approved by the General Assembly. The measure now heads to the Senate, where similar legislation (2018-S 2240) has been introduced by Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Bristol, Tiverton, Warren).
The bill comes on the heels of a plan to construct a combined bus hub and business development on State House land along Gaspee Street that would be connected with the Providence Train Station.
“While I appreciate the zeal of state planners and their efforts to develop the city, we must never forget that the Rhode Island State House — and by extension its grounds — ultimately belongs to the people,” said Representative Solomon. “It’s more than symbolic, it’s more than iconic. It’s over 100 years of history, and an important reminder to every legislator and public officials of the importance of what is done here. It is not ever to be bought and sold.”
The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland), Helder J. Cunha (D-Dist. 64, East Providence), Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) and Robert A. Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28, Coventry).