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Phone: (401) 658-0981
+ − Biography
Mia A. Ackerman (D) has served the residents of Cumberland and Lincoln in District 45 since her election in November 2012. She was named a deputy majority leader in April 2014. She is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Conduct, the second vice chairwoman of the House Municipal Government Committee, and serves as a member of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, the House Small Business Committee and the House Special Legislation Committee.
In 2019, she championed a law protecting consumers’ right to pay in cash. The legislation makes it unlawful for any retail establishment offering goods or services for sale to discriminate against a prospective customer by requiring the use of credit for purchase of goods or services.
She also sponsored successful legislation that supports the adoption and implementation of a new five-year update to the state plan for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The plan includes more than 30 recommendations, including the allocation of one director-level position within the Department of Health to coordinate the implementation of actions in the plan, efforts to promote Alzheimer’s and dementia research in Rhode Island and the inclusion of brain health in existing publicly-funded health promotion and chronic disease management activities.
A strong advocate of youth issues, Ackerman introduced a bill during the 2018 session that bans the use of tanning beds for minors. The measure, which garnered strong support from the medical community, was enacted by the General Assembly. She also successfully sponsored legislation that changes the jurisdiction of child abuse crimes from Family Court to Rhode Island Superior Court, which is much better equipped to adjudicate those types of crimes.
In 2017, Representative Ackerman introduced a pro-business law that simplifies the application process of an out-of-state corporation to obtain a certificate of authority, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island. She also successfully introduced legislation that makes the electronic transmission of pharmaceuticals the standard in Rhode Island.
She also sponsored an animal-protection law that adds hoarding of animals to the list of cruelty to animal offenses.
In the 2016 session, she led a commission to study the increasing problem of sexual assault on college campuses. Those meetings led to legislation introduced by Representative Ackerman that requires institutions of higher learning to adopt a policy which grants amnesty for violations of drug/alcohol policies for those who report incidents of violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.
She also introduced a new law that prohibits public entities from entering into contracts with businesses that engage in the boycott of any business based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom the state can enjoy open trade. The act effectively prohibits the state from investing in or contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of allies and trade partners of the United States, including the state of Israel.
In 2015, she sponsored a law that effectively nullifies mortgages after 35 years, helping buyers and sellers of real estate to avoid complicated legal entanglements involving ancient mortgages. She also introduced a House resolution that created a special commission to study sexual assault on college campuses. During the same session, the House passed a bill that would add hoarding to the list of offenses considered to be animal cruelty.
Following her election, Representative Ackerman championed a law allowing students to train during school hours for approved manufacturing and technical programs. In 2014, her mission to improve the education and safety of children in Rhode Island continued to progress with the passage of a crucial law that protects children through “child safe zones,” or areas in which a sex offender whose victim was a minor cannot be employed or own a business.
She also successfully sponsored legislation to increase transparency in the public reporting of fire district meetings and records, and she supported legislation which united Cumberland’s fire districts. She also sponsored a law allowing the state to divest from companies doing business with Iran.
Born on March 28, 1965, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton. In addition to her duties as a legislator, Representative Ackerman is a self-employed real estate title examiner.
Her past public service includes six years on the Cumberland Town Council from 2006 to 2012, as well as serving on the Cumberland Juvenile Hearing Board from 2003 to 2006.
She also is involved with several community organizations, serving as a member of both the Cumberland Land Trust and the Cumberland School Volunteers, as well as the Board of Directors for the historic Franklin Farm in Cumberland. She was a Liaison to the Cumberland Youth Commission and was a former member of the J.J. McLaughlin Elementary School Executive PTO Board.
Representative Ackerman resides in Cumberland with her husband, Barry. They have two children, Sam, a student at Columbia University Law School, and Ellie, a student at the University of Rhode Island.