Protecting ChildrenFor far too long, Rhode Island allowed minors to obtain marriage licenses without parental consent. Married minors lacked the same legal protections as married adults. While these marriages are rare, it was crucial for the state to bring an end to this practice. Senator Burke fought to bring an end to child marriage in Rhode Island to ensure our children are protected from predatory practices and forced marriages.
Supporting the EnvironmentWest Warwick was faced with a challenge: allow a medical waste pyrolysis facility to be constructed in our backyard or standup to protect the wellbeing of our residents. Senator Burke chose the latter and co-sponsored legislation prohibiting the construction of new medical waste incinerators near neighborhoods, schools, nursing facilities and delicate environmental areas. Now residents of West Warwick and those throughout the state will not be subjected to construction of high-heat facilities that jeopardize the health of the community and environment.
Supporting Municipal Employees
West Warwick’s pension plan is at critical status, leaving our municipal employees to face uncertainty with their retirements. These hardworking men and women, most of whom are your neighbors, friends, and family, have dedicated their careers to serving and bettering our community. That’s why Senator Burke introduced legislation allowing West Warwick to join the State Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island. This merger provides assurance to all residents that West Warwick continues on a path of fiscal health and maintains a predictable and sustainable pension system for our municipal employees.
Among the major initiatives Senator Burke supported in 2021 are:
• Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour
• Mandates for improved quality of care and staffing for nursing homes
• Passage of an affordable housing package
• Implementation of the 2021 Act on Climate to reduce statewide carbon emission
• Doubling the amount of beer and liquor small breweries and distilleries can sell to customers
• Providing families of wrongful death victims means to recover damages for their loss • Updating our statewide public safety records management system • Raising the criminal punishment for those in possession of child erotica