Title 42
State Affairs and Government

Chapter 6.2
2021 Act on Climate

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-6.2-4

§ 42-6.2-4. Advisory board established — Members.

(a) The Rhode Island executive climate change coordinating council advisory board is hereby established. The advisory board shall have fourteen (14) members. Six (6) members shall be appointed by the governor, four (4) of whom shall be representatives of city or town government, at least one of whom shall be from a city with a population of over fifty thousand (50,000) and one of whom shall be of a town with a population of less than fifty thousand (50,000), one of whom shall be from an organization representing or serving low-income and/or minority communities, and one member of the public with expertise in, and representing the interests of, environmental justice.

Four (4) members shall be appointed by the president of the senate, who shall give due consideration to appointing persons with expertise in economic policy and/or workforce development; protection of natural and cultural resources management; energy planning and development; and engineering and design. Four (4) members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house, who shall give due consideration to appointing persons with expertise in education; public health and safety; housing; or from organizations representing or serving youth or the elderly.

(b) The members of the advisory board shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years; provided, however, that, with regard to the initial appointments, four (4) members shall be appointed for terms of one year; five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of two (2) years; and five (5) members shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years. Members may be reappointed, and their appointments shall continue until their successors are appointed. The term of a member representing a city or town shall end when the member no longer holds an elected or appointed position in the city or town he or she was representing. A vacancy other than by expiration shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment, but only for the unexpired portion of the term.

(c) The members of the advisory board shall receive no compensation.

(d) The governor shall appoint a chairperson; a vice-chairperson and secretary shall be elected annually by the advisory board members. All officers of the advisory board shall serve until their successors have been duly appointed or elected.

(e) The advisory board shall meet at least quarterly or at the call of the chairperson of the council. The chairperson of the council, or his or her designee, shall be present for all advisory board meetings.

(f) The advisory board shall have the following purposes and duties:

(1) Advise the council on all matters pertaining to the duties and powers of the council, including evaluating and making recommendations regarding plans, programs, and strategies relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation;

(2) Assist the council in improving public access to, and understanding of, the best available scientific, technical, and other information about climate change, mitigation, adaptation, etc., so as to build public support for, and participation in, initiatives to make communities more resilient;

(3) Serve as a conduit for communicating information from the council to communities and constituencies, as well as vice versa, for input from the community level to the council;

(4) Assist the council in meeting its own transparency and accountability obligations;

(5) Report to the council at each regular council meeting; and

(6) Prepare an annual report, to be included in the annual report of the council, that specifically addresses the state of public awareness and engagement; the effectiveness of mitigation, adaptation and public information programs from the community perspective; the ability of the council to attain its goals and objectives, including effective interagency coordination and public-private partnerships; and actions that would further the purposes of the council and this legislation.

(g) For purposes of this section, “environmental justice” means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, English proficiency, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

History of Section.
P.L. 2014, ch. 343, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 392, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 374, § 1, effective June 29, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 375, § 1, effective June 29, 2022.