- Associated Press - Thursday, April 4, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A legislative committee in Rhode Island has advanced two bills dealing with overtime for firefighters.

One measure sponsored by Democratic House Majority Whip John “Jay” Edwards would strike from state law an exemption that shields cities and towns from having to pay firefighters overtime after 42 hours.

The other bill would mandate overtime pay after 42 hours for three communities — Tiverton, Central Coventry and North Kingstown — that have not already adopted a lower overtime threshold than the federal standard of 53 hours.

The Providence Journal reports the House Labor Committee approved the bills on Wednesday.

Providence officials say the legislation could add up to $5 million in new overtime costs. The city’s firefighters union disputes those numbers.

Rhode Island’s Republican Party chairwoman Sue Cienki denounced the bills.

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