SAFETY SERVICES & LICENSES COMMITTEE

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

A Public Hearing will be heard before the Safety Services & Licenses Committee on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.. pursuant to Section 3.12 of the Charter on the following proposed Ordinance via Web-ex

Meeting number (access code): 626 811 029
Meeting password: jnCpPRGX384
(56277749 from phones and video systems)

Monday, May 4, 2020
6:00 pm | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr

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Copies of all proposed Ordinances are available for public review at the City Clerk’s Office, Cranston Central Library and on the City website: cranstonri.com under calendar by clicking the Committee meeting date.

“Individuals requesting interpreter services for the deaf or hard of hearing must notify the City Clerk’s Office at 461-1000 ext. 3197 seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the hearing date.”

Christopher G. Paplauskas, Chair
Safety Services & Licenses Committee

Rosalba Zanni
Acting City Clerk

PROPOSED ORDINANCE 4-20-02
IN AMENDMENT OF TITLE 5, OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF
CRANSTON, 2005, ENTITLED ‘‘BUSINESS LICENSES AND ‘REGULATIONS’
(Cashless Establishments
Prohibited)

It is ordained by the City Council of the City of Cranston as follows:

Section 1. Title 5 “Business Licenses and Regulations” is hereby amended by adding the following:

Chapter 5.82. Cashless Establishments Prohibited Legislative Findings and Intent:

a) Cranston strives to be a welcoming, inclusive City for all. Consistent with this, the City strives to allow all to participate in its economic life. A key aspect of participation in Cranston’s economic life, as anywhere, is the ability as a consumer to purchase goods and services.

b) According to the most recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) report, in 2017, 6.5% of U.S households were “unbanked,” meaning that no one in the household had a checking or savings account. Unbanked rates were higher among lower-income households, less-educated households, working-age disabled households, households with volatile income, and black and Hispanic households. Specifically, 16.9% of black households, and 14% of Hispanic houses were unbanked in 2017. For some, the ability to engage in consumer transactions depends on the ability to pay for goods and many services in cash. As such, cashless business models systematically exclude segments of the population that are largely low-income, and people of color; as well as young people who do not meet age requirements for credit cards, those who have not transitioned to credit and digital modes of payment, and other vulnerable groups such as the homeless.

c) Cranston must remain vigilant in ensuring its economy is inclusionary and accessible to everyone. The purpose of this ordinance is to ensure that everyone is able to participate in the City’s economic life by paying with cash for goods.

Definitions:

For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

a) “Cash,” means United States coins and currency, including federal reserve notes. Cash does not include foreign currency; any paper instrument other than a federal reserve note, including, but not limited to, any check, bond, promissory note; or any foreign metal coin.

b) “Consumer commodity,” means any article, good, merchandise, product or commodity of any kind or class produced, distributed or offered for retail sale for consumption by individuals, or for personal, household or family purposes.

c) “Food store,” means an establishment which gives or offers for sale food or beverages to the public for consumption or use on or off the premises.

d) “Retail establishment,” means a physical establishment wherein consumer commodities are sold, displayed or offered for sale, or where services are provided to consumers at retail.

Prohibited Acts:

1) It shall be unlawful for a food store or a retail establishment to refuse to accept payment in cash from consumers;

2) Post signs on the premises that cash payment is not accepted;

3) Charge a higher price to customers who pay cash than they would pay using any other form of payments.

Exemptions:

1) A food store or a retail establishment may refuse to accept payment in cash bills denominated above $20, or in cash for any telephone, mail, or internet-based transaction, unless the payment for such transaction takes place on the premises of such food store or retail establishment.

Penalties:

1) For a first offense, the food store or retail establishment charged with violating the prohibited acts shall be served with a warning letter delivered via certified mail and regular mail to the food store or retail establishment, addressed to the chief executive officer or local manager as may be applicable. The warning letter shall inform the establishment of the alleged violation and the necessity to correct the violation within 28 days of the date of the letter, and shall include a copy of this chapter. Should the alleged food store or retail establishment dispute the violation, the violation shall be heard by the City Council Safety Services and Licenses Committee.

2) Should the food store or retail establishment not correct the violation outlined in the warning letter or be charged with any subsequent offense after correcting the initial violation, a notice of violation shall be issued and a fine of $250 shall be assessed and imposed. The notice of violation shall be delivered via certified and regular mail to the food store or retail establishment, addressed to the chief executive officer or local manager as may be applicable, and shall direct the food store or retail establishment to pay the fine assessed by mail or in person within 14 days of the assessment. Should the alleged violator dispute the violation, the violation shall be heard by the City Council Safety Services and Licenses Committee.

3) Each additional violation shall result in issuance of subsequent notices of violation, and each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation and may be cited and fined as such. Should the alleged violator dispute the violation, the violation shall be heard by the City Council Safety Services and Licenses Committee.

4) For any food store or retail establishment that is subject to multiple notices of violation pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance, the City Council Safety Services and Licenses Committee may call the violator in for show cause.

Section 2: This Ordinance shall take effect upon its final adoption.

Sponsored by:
Councilmember Donegan.

4/30/20

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