- Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A bill that would penalize parents for leaving children alone in a car has passed the Senate, but appears doomed in the House.

Although it passed the Senate on Wednesday, a House spokesman said Thursday it’s not moving this year because consensus wasn’t reached.

Democratic Sen. Leonidas Raptakis has been working for years on it. The Coventry Democrat says Rhode Island has stiffer penalties for leaving animals in a car.

The bill would allow police to charge someone who leaves a child under age 7 in the car, rather than only issue a verbal warning. It would remove “habitual” from the statute, so a person wouldn’t have to be a habitual offender to be charged.

Raptakis says it’s aimed at people who leave kids alone for a long time.

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