RI lawmakers bring their personal life to State House debate


7744257002 PFO 0619 Home Drama

PROVIDENCE — In a day of uncooked feelings on the Rhode Island State Home, one lawmaker confessed previous drug abuse, one other learn a poem she wrote to her late mom, and a third talked about her unanswered questions as an adoptee.

Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung

A fourth — Cranston Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, who by day is a bodily therapist — teared up speaking in regards to the legions of nursing-home employees who held the palms of remoted older of us barred from seeing their households in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. 

She was discussing a invoice that would entitle any resident of a nursing house to designate an “important caregiver” to go to and “present in-person bodily or emotional assist” throughout a declared emergency. Sponsored by Warren Rep. June Speakman, it gained unanimous Home approval.

With the legislature anticipated to recess by the tip of June after a COVID-dominated yr that till just some weeks in the past required masks and distant conferences, quite a few the lawmakers introduced private tales to the Home flooring session on Thursday.

Rep. Leonela Felix

Amongst them, Pawtucket Rep. Leonela Felix, who, as a candidate last fall, made no secret of her troubled previous. 

Thursday marked the primary time she felt compelled to inform her story, on digital camera, to her Home colleagues. It got here throughout a debate over a bill introduced by Providence Rep. Scott Slater to reclassify simple possession of 10 grams or less of certain illicit drugs as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.



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