News Minute: Here is the latest Rhode Island news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island bill that would ban 3D guns is being considered by lawmakers. The measure would make it illegal for anyone in Rhode Island to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that is made from plastic, fiberglass or through a 3D-printing process. The proposal was scheduled to come before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday after getting unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Supporters say the guns are dangerous because they can pass through metal detectors and be obtained by people who wouldn't otherwise pass background checks. Critics of the bill contend that the ban is unnecessary.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's treasurer says the state's public pension fund will stop investing in companies that operate private prisons or make assault-style weapons for sale to civilians. General Treasurer Seth Magaziner made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference attended by representatives of several gun control groups, state lawmakers and a Rhode Island woman who survived the October 2017 shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58. The Democratic Magaziner says the state public pension system has just $250,000 invested in two gun companies and two prisons companies. That represents 0.003% of the state's $8.7 billion pension fund.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Brown University fundraising director has resigned, months after being placed on leave by the Ivy League school for his involvement in accepting donations from disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. Peter Cohen resigned Tuesday. University spokesman Brian Clark confirmed the resignation to The Associated Press. The student newspaper, The Brown Daily Herald, first reported the resignation. Cohen declined to comment on his resignation when reached by the newspaper. Cohen, director of development for computer and data science at Brown, was placed on leave in September. Brown previously said the school hadn't received donations from Epstein.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Rhode Island Department of Corrections over the continued imprisonment of an inmate who was granted parole. The Providence Journal reports that Robert McKinney was sentenced in June 1997 to life in prison for murder and a consecutive sentence of 10 years for conspiracy. The ACLU says under Rhode Island law, an inmate who is serving consecutive sentences is eligible for parole after serving one-third of the total sentence. The Parole Board voted unanimously to grant parole on May 16, with a release date of December 2019. However, the Department of Corrections changed how parole eligibility is calculated with out notifying McKinney or the parole board.
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