Senator Sheehan's Record

Economic Development

  • Received the Friend of Small Business Award by the NFIB
  • Successfully opposed the Meals and Hotel Tax Expansion FY2013
  • Won passage of red tape-cutting, Concurrent Permitting Law
  • Sponsored enhanced Jobs Match legislation
  • Advocated new law to streamline the state Fire Code
  • Co-sponsored and advocated for a necessary E-verify Bill to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants
  • 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

  • Won passage of landmark reform of Open Records laws
  • 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)
  • Voted for Pension Reform
  • Strongly advocated the restoration of the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission over the General Assembly.
  • During the 2007-2008 session, Common Cause rated Senator Sheehan as the #1 good government legislator in the entire General Assembly
  • Sponsored a new law that provides greater oversight and due diligence for state contracts involving building and construction projects.
  • 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 membership 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
  • Co-sponsored: Ethics Disclosure Laws
  • Sponsored: Lobbyist Reform Law
  • Co-sponsored: Campaign Finance Reform Law


  • 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 committee passage of the public area smoking ban
  • Named the Conservation Legislator of the Year
  • Received the RI Saltwater Anglers' Environmental Award
  • Sponsored new law to protect against inappropriate sale of state-owned open space and preservation lands


  • Supported a law to allow students to remain on their parents' health insurance policy until age 25.
  • Supported a Successfully sponsored a law that seeks to bring more insurance companies to RI
  • Spearheaded state effort to safely import prescription drugs from Canada
  • Called for corporate reform at Beacon Mutual (workers' compensation corp.)
  • Called for reform at Blue Cross of RI
  • Sponsored a new law requiring Blue Cross to pass prescription drug discounts onto its customers.

Local Interest

  • Advocated the creation of an Arts District (duty free zone) in the village of Wickford.
  • Advocated passage of a new law to curb increases in property taxes
  • Advocated for the passage of legislation to curb excessive 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
  • Sponsored law to repeal the requirement that the old condemned Jamestown Bridge be made into a fishing pier, while securing fair access rights to the waterfront
  • Supported social host drinking law to prevent underage parties


  • Declined pay raise [for the second time] in light of state budget cuts and personal sacrifices made by citizens across the state.
  • I have also declined state health insurance [as well as the buy back grant] for a number of years.

Sheehan Working