Dominick J. Ruggerio is the Rhode Island State Senator for District 4, which encompasses neighborhoods in North Providence and Providence. After serving as Senate majority leader from 2011 to 2017, Dominick’s colleagues elected him senate president in 2017.
Dominick has consistently championed policies to grow Rhode Island’s economy and expand job opportunities for working families. He was an outspoken supporter of the I-195 Relocation Project, which freed up more than 20 acres of developable land in downtown Providence. He also authored legislation to create the I-195 Commission to facilitate the sale and development of the land. Successful developments in and around this area, including the $100 million Wexford project, have brought high-paying life science jobs to Rhode Island. He remains passionate about the potential of the I-195 District, often decrying Rhode Island’s bureaucracy and regulatory burdens that stand in the way of development.
Dominick believes good public schools and a well-educated workforce are critical to the future of the Ocean State. He co-sponsored the state’s education funding formula overhaul in 2010 and has fought each year to fully fund the formula. As a result, state education aid to Providence and North Providence has increased by $82 million and $11 million respectively.
Dominick has also fought to create alternative career pathways for high school graduates. He strongly believes that apprenticeship programs can be a training tool for career success. In 2016, he fought to expand state approved apprenticeship programs beyond traditional construction trades and into non-traditional fields such as pharmaceutical technicians, information technology, and nursing. He also
collaborated with business leaders to establish public-private partnership centers throughout the state to train high school graduates for high paying jobs right here in Rhode Island. Most recently, he secured $4 million for the establishment of the Northern Rhode Island Higher Education Center to prepare high school graduates for IT and office jobs at leading local companies, including AAA Northeast, Amica, CVS Health, and Fidelity.
Dominick has been a strident defender of working families. He has fought to raise the state’s minimum wage, increase access to quality childcare, and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. Under his leadership, the Senate recently passed a strong Equal Pay Act to address gender and racial discrepancies in wages.
Dominick is also passionate about animal welfare and has received The Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Legislator Award. Last session, he sponsored new laws to put an end to the curbside sale of cats and dogs and allow the Rhode Island Family Court to issue restraining orders to protect animals. Dominick has also been recognized for his advocacy on environmental issues, which include creating the state’s recycling programs for mattresses and paint. This session he was the prime sponsor of a Senate proposal to ban single-use plastic bags.
Dominick is a lifelong North Providence resident. He graduated from LaSalle Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree from Providence College. In 2017, Dominick retired as an administrator of the New England Laborers Labor Management Coop Trust. Dominick is the proud father of Charles and Amanda and the loving grandfather to Ava, Mia, Natalie, and Jameson.