The 2019 Legislative Session saw hundreds of advocates and community organizations lobby and demonstrate daily at the Statehouse over abortion rights, making the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act on June 19th a momentous victory that was 25 years in the making. After decades of work, the principles of Roe v. Wade were finally codified into Rhode Island law, regardless of the shifting federal ideologies towards abortion care. 

However, this critical piece of legislation wasn't the only important victory this session. The General Assembly also approved bills that ensure that an individual's driver's license isn't immediately suspended after failing to pay traffic fees and fines, remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, and guarantee state veteran's benefits to individuals who were discharged from the military based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

But there were also opportunities for criminal justice reform that did not come to fruition. The failed attempt to legalize recreational marijuana or to promote legislative justice for those victimized by its illegality was a dark spot for advocates.

The General Assembly also neglected bills promoting equal pay and strengthening sexual harassment laws. And, an effort across chambers to address education standards didn't tackle significant issues and barriers affecting students of color and low-income students. 

In 2019, the ACLU of RI lobbied on 339 bills and tracked over 800 pieces of legislation. To see how your Representatives and Senators voted on a few of those issues, our 2019 Legislative Scorecard is below.