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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Local senator gets red tape-cutting bill passed

Senate passes Sosnowski bill to expand statewide electronic permitting 

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed a bill sponsored by Senator V. Susan Sosnowski (D – Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham), that would promote expansion of the statewide electronic permitting system, in keeping with Senate goals of expanding the system to all cities and towns in the state and expanding the types of online permitting, inspections and programs the system can accommodate. 

The measure passed 36 to 0.

The legislation (2015-S-0397) also requires each city and town to designate a liaison to the Office of Regulatory Reform with a responsibility of coordinating regulatory and permitting matters.

“Rhode Island’s economy thrives when promising initiatives can move seamlessly through the approval process at state and municipal levels,” said Senator Sosnowski. 

“Access to real time information can make a project launch take place on schedule. Absence of that information frustrates businesses and staff responsible for managing the approval process. An online portal accessed through municipal websites will support uniform, statewide electronic plan review, permitting and inspection.”

Senator Sosnowski, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee, championed legislation establishing the program, which was funded in 2012. Her 2013 legislation created a Municipal Advisory Council to provide input on statewide processing for electronic plan review, permitting and inspection, and to encourage participation of each city and town.