Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin passes away after battling cancer

This is a photo of Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Senate is mourning the loss of Senator Maryellen Goodwin following a battle with cancer.

Goodwin served the residents of Smith Hill for nearly 40 years, touching the lives of many Rhode Islanders officials said.

Goodwin was first elected to the Senate in 1986, she was the second-longest-serving member of the chamber.

“She will forever be remembered as a champion for the poor and working people,” Director of Communications for Providence City Council, Parker Gavigan said.

“Maryellen’s impact on Smith Hill, Providence, and our entire state will be felt for generations,” Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said.

“She stood fearlessly for what was right, fighting for the voiceless, vulnerable and underprivileged. Her leadership led to passage of landmark laws improving lead poisoning prevention, the child care industry, domestic violence prevention, public safety, worker protections, access to health care, home care and nursing home safety, and so much more,” he continued.

Her first elected office was as a delegate to the 1986 Constitutional Convention. Prior to serving as whip, Senator Goodwin was the long-time Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation.

Maryellen attended St. Patrick High School and Rhode Island College, and was employed by the City of Providence.

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