My Record

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Senator Sheehan's Senate Record includes:

Economic Development

  • Sponsored the Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit initiative, a successful job creation program that has helped to grow hundreds of good-paying jobs with benefits.

  • Successfully opposed the Meals and Hotel Tax Expansion FY2013

  • Won passage of red tape-cutting, Concurrent Permitting Law

  • Sponsored enhanced Jobs Match legislation, a program to better identify and address skills gaps among job seekers to assist them in securing employment

  • Successfully advocated for the reduction of the minimum business corporation tax

  • Advocated and supported providing $11M in job training funds through Real Jobs Rhode Island

  • Advocated new law to streamline the state Fire Code

  • Successfully advocated for Infrastructure Improvements at Quonset

  • Successfully advocated a program to increase exports of RI seafood

  • Organized and led an esteemed group of state policy experts to make policy recommendations to reinvent Rhode Island's economy. The resulting policy recommendations, entitled "A New Horizon: Reinventing Rhode Island," were widely distributed and a number of the recommendations were embraced by state government leaders.

Good Government

  • Successfully led the charge to restore the state Code of Ethics over members of our General Assembly.

  • Authored laws to bring increased accountability and transparency over the state’s quasi-public agencies

  • Authored a major update of the state’s Access to Public Records laws

  • Sponsored legislation creating a line-item veto 

  • Successfully advocated performance metrics for state government.

  • Advocated and supported fairer regulations for business (Regulatory Fairness Act)

  • Co-sponsored a new law to allow for Shared Municipal Services (OPEB)

  • Sponsored a law to reform Eminent Domain to protect private property in response to the Kelo v. City of New London US Supreme Court decision.

  • Sponsored a law to clarify term limits on members to the powerful Judicial Nominating Commission [which nominates all new judges in the state]

  • Successfully co-sponsored Separation of Powers constitutional amendment to RI Constitution to better balance the powers of government

  • Sponsored: Lobbyist Reform Law

  • Co-sponsored: Campaign Finance Reform Law



  • Authored a new law to safeguard and authenticate the state’s election results 

  • Supported a new law to permit convenient and secure online voter registration


  • Supported a $47M bond referendum for green economy and clean water initiatives

  • Supported landmark package of legislation to promote the growth of green jobs and clean energy

  • Led the charge to defeat the mega container port proposed at Quonset Point

  • Successfully co-sponsored new Clean Water Law heralded by Save the Bay as a "turning point" for the health of Narragansett Bay

  • Co-sponsored and chaired the successful Senate committee’s passage of the public area smoking ban

  • Sponsored new law to protect against inappropriate sale of state-owned open space and preservation lands

  • Supported net metering of green energy production.  


  • Voted to codify Roe v. Wade into state

  • Advocated and supported codifying essential health benefits required to be provided by Rhode Island insurance companies

  • Supported legislation to ensure that mastectomies are covered by insurance

  • Supported legislation requiring health insurance plans to provide coverage for a 12 month supply of birth control.

  • Supported a law to allow students to remain on their parents' health insurance policy until age 25.

  • Spearheaded state effort to safely import prescription drugs from Canada at prices much lower than in the US

  • Called for corporate reform at Beacon Mutual (workers' compensation corp.)

  • Sponsored a new law requiring Blue Cross to pass prescription drug discounts onto its customers

  • Supported several pieces of legislation to help combat the opioid crisis in our state

  • Advocated for the restoration of funds to numerous health and human service programs including those that would benefit intellectually or developmentally disabled persons and Medicaid recipients.

  • Supported a law to prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses

​Public Safety​​

  • Supported “red flag” legislation that allows the courts to disarm individuals who are believed to represent a violent threat to themselves or others

  • Supported a law that would limit access to firearms when an individual is under domestic restraining orders or protective orders.

  • Sponsored a ban on bump stocks and other rapid-fire gun modifications (a similar bill passed into law)

  • Supported legislation making “revenge porn” a crime and creating criminal penalties for those who engage in “sextortion”

  • Supported legislation to expunge records for crimes that were subsequently decriminalized

  • Supported the decriminalization of consumer amounts of marijuana 


  • Supported a $250M bond referendum to rebuild schools across the state as well as provide funding for public safety

  • Supported an additional $6M in funding for the Rhode Island Promise program that allows residents two years tuition-free at CCRI

  • Supported an additional $21.9M in state education aid to cities and towns

  • Supported a Department of Education initiative to incorporate substance abuse and suicide prevention education into the health education curriculum

  • Supported legislation that increases education on consent and sexual activity in secondary schools

Worker/ Taxpayer/
Consumer Protection

  • Voted to reduce the excise tax on automobiles

  • Supported the law mandating paid sick leave, guaranteeing three paid sick days a year and increasing that number to five by 2020

  • Supported prevailing wages

  • Supported binding arbitration to resolve management/union impasses



  • Supported the legalization of same-sex marriage in RI

  • Supported comprehensive legislation related to equal pay for women

  • Supported legislation that would ban health insurers from utilizing the discriminatory practice known as gender rating, or routinely charging women and men different premiums for individual insurance.

Child Protection

  • Supported the voluntary extension of services up to age 21 for those who are in foster care on their 18th birthday

  • Supported legislation to examine the safety of RI schools and to ensure that school safety plans are adopted in each school department

  • Supported legislation that amended the law regarding child neglect and cruelty, moving jurisdiction of those crimes from Family Court to Superior Court

  • Supported legislation that stiffened penalties for those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the vehicle

  • Supported legislation to improve the effectiveness of the state’s law requiring school officials to report sexual abuse



  • Supported a state law to exempt social security and retirement income from personal income tax (on the first $15,000 for single filers with less $80,000 or less in income and $100,000 for joint filers).   

  • Supported the establishment of the “independent provider”, a model of at-home care where the consumer and the state share responsibilities for selecting and managing caregivers

  • Supported funds over the years to provide community grants to senior centers and community programs

  • Supported the establishment of the “RI Aging and Disability Resource Center” to assist individuals in crafting long-term care plans

  • Supported $9M in additional funding to nursing homes

  • Supported the establishment of the “Livable Home Modification Grant” which allows aging or disabled homeowners or renters to modify their homes with accessible features for safety and the ability to age-in-place.  


Local Interest

  • Spearheaded and co-authored a law that eliminated the sales tax on original art work

  • Successfully sponsored a Homestead Tax Exemption on property taxes in Narragansett.  

  • Led a formal Senate request for information from the Department of Health on Lyme Disease. Specifically requesting information on current levels of Lyme in RI; the response in treating the disease; an analysis of best practices in the treatment of Lyme; identify gaps in insurance coverage that affect access to comprehensive treatment; and the DOH’s long-term goals and strategies to address the high incidence of Lyme in the RI 

  • Sponsored a law that created a specialty license plate to raise money to preserve and maintain the Plum Beach Lighthouse

  • Advocated for the passage of legislation to curb excessive credit card banking fees.

  • Sponsored a new law to protect the Rod & Reel fishermen to clearly allow the license-holders to employ non-licensed crew to help harvest their catch.

  • Helped secure state funding to rebuild Galilee fishing pier bulkhead

  • Sponsored legislation to provide property tax relief for senior citizens in North Kingstown

  • Supported social host drinking law to prevent underage parties

  • Sponsored a law naming a state bridge in honor of a local fallen hero 2nd Lt. Matthew Coutu


  • Continually declines a Senate salary pay raise in light of state budget cuts and personal sacrifices made by citizens across the state.

  • Continually declines the state health insurance as well as the buy-back grant 

  • Received the Friend of Small Business Award by the NFIB

  • Named the Conservation Legislator of the Year

  • Received the RI Saltwater Anglers' Environmental Award