2008-09-18 / Front Page

Paiva Weed cites long list of senate successes

By M. Teresa Paiva Weed

M. Teresa Paiva Weed M. Teresa Paiva Weed My reasons for running are the same today as they were when I first sought public office. I am committed to improving the

quality of life in the communities I serve. During my tenure with the Rhode Island Senate, I have served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a period of landmark ethics law revisions and improvements

and have made government accountability a priority. I understand that government offi cials need to adhere to the highest ethical standards. I serve as the first woman majority leader in the state senate during one of our state's most challenging budget processes. However, as state senator for Jamestown and Newport, I have learned to appreciate the critical role of our state government in assisting those among us who are temporarily or permanently less fortunate, as well as government's responsibility to protect our environment and improve our economy.

People are struggling. Paying for housing, heat, health care or tuition is difficult for many of us. Small and large businesses look for opportunities to grow while coping with rising costs. I am committed to a vital and efficient state government that does not make matters worse, but provides appropriate and targeted assistance.

This year, I sponsored legislation to de- velop a statewide school transportation system. This is an idea that has its genesis in Jamestown. Such a system would not only be more efficient, but would also achieve budget savings for our cities and towns. I advocated for repeal of the boat sales tax, and to decrease income taxes, which are important issues for Jamestown that provide statewide economic stimulus. Every year, I have taken on environmental issues, from creation of the Habitat Restoration Fund to advocating for legislation allowing Jamestown to benefit through net metering, renewable energy initiatives and improving recycling. I have made property tax relief a priority, creating new streams of revenue and limiting tax increases for all home and business owners. These are issues important to Jamestown that impact all Rhode Islanders.

As new challenges arise, my independent leadership allows me to be critical where appropriate and work towards creative solutions. I am committed to preventing the decay of our public transportation system that could occur through the elimination of valuable RIPTA bus routes. I am committed to working towards affordable health insurance for all working Rhode Islanders. Protecting and promoting our defense industry and economic initiatives impacting our marine and tourism industries have been and will continue to be my priority. I will continue to work to protect our seniors and young children, our mentally and physically disabled, and our hard working citizens from policies that will cause them to lose their health, lose their homes, or lose their independence. For example, a recent law that I sponsored will lead to fewer nursing home resident lives lost through state reporting and intervention on bed sores. Another major law I sponsored will lead to more accurate medical diagnosis and the reduction of costly and painful medical errors through the use of confidential electronic medical records.

While I am proud of my statewide record promoting accountability and transparency in government as well as my advocacy for children, seniors, and the environment, my role as the state senator in providing a voice for Jamestown and Newport remains paramount. As the Majority Leader of the Senate, I have a broad view of the legislative landscape. I am able to work with other senators, the House of Representatives, and the Executive Branch on both budget initiatives and policy proposals to protect the interests and concerns of the citizens of our communities. I have been able to, and will continue to, ensure Jamestown's concerns are heard and considered statewide whether the issue is net metering or education funding.

In addition, my responsibilities do not end on the last day of each legislative session. I spend time when not in session advocating with our local government officials for our local priorities and needs. I have spoken out against the proposed LNG terminals in our state. Recently, I called for the Turnpike and Bridge Authority to have public hearings regarding the E-z pass Program.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve the residents of Jamestown. I believe in the strength of community and I believe we are called to serve each other. I respectfully request that you give me the opportunity to continue to serve as Jamestown's senator.

I can be reached by phone at 846-9984 and by e-mail at sentw@ aol.com.

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