After months of delay, the Rhode Island Senate President, Teresa Paiva Weed, says the chamber will finally vote on the marriage equality bill later in April. Equality on Trial reports:
“I feel very confident that the issue will be fully debated on the floor of the Senate at some point in April — sometime in the first couple of weeks after the break,” Paiva Weed said in her comments yesterday. The break she referred to is the General Assembly’s week-long spring break, after which the chamber will reconvene on April 22. Pavia Weed anticipates a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must first approve the bill before it can go to the Senate floor, soon after that break, followed quickly by a full Senate debate.
The bill is expected to squeak out of committee soon:
The Judiciary Committee convened for a marathon hearing on the bill in late March that lasted more than 12 hours until almost 5 a.m. the morning after it began. That committee’s members are closely divided on the measure, although it appears to have just enough support to be advanced to a floor vote, with at least 6 of 10 members expected to vote in favor of the bill.
The Senate Democratic Leadership, including Paiva Weed, does not support marriage equality, and has dragged its feet for months on the bill.