Michael J. McCaffrey serves as the Rhode Island state senator for District 29 (Warwick). After having served several terms as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michael’s Democratic colleagues elected him majority leader in April of 2017.
Michael is a lifelong Warwick resident. He attended Bishop Hendricken High School, earned his bachelor’s degree from Providence College, and graduated from Suffolk University Law School. Michael now practices at his family's law firm, McCaffrey & McCaffrey.
Senator McCaffrey's legal expertise has put him front and center on numerous efforts to improve Rhode Island's criminal justice system. Most recently, he served as a member of the Justice Reinvestment Working Group. In partnership with the Council on State Governments, the coalition of stakeholders used a data driven approach to draft a package of six bills to overhaul Rhode Island's parole and probation system. Now law, the comprehensive overhaul will make our neighborhoods safer, reduce incarceration rates, assist those suffering from addiction, and save taxpayer dollars.
As former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michael also championed a reform agenda to increase transparency and accountability across state and local government. This included strengthening the state's campaign finance laws, implementing new lobbyist disclosure requirements, and removing the "Master Lever" at the ballot box. Michael also sponsored and presided over the hearings for a constitutional amendment to increase the powers of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. The amendment, which was approved by voters in November of 2016, effectively subjected the members of the General Assembly to the Board's jurisdiction.
During his tenure as chairman of Senate Judiciary, Michael also championed a progressive, forward-thinking agenda to assist those dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. In 2014 and 2015, he championed broad reforms to the state's Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act. In the 2017 session, he introduced successful legislation to increase access to the Superior Court's Adult Drug Court and create a diversion program within the Superior Court.
Senator McCaffrey is the son of Ann and the late Eugene McCaffrey, who served as Mayor of Warwick. Michael is married to Deirdre and they have four children: Michael, Cailin, Brenna, and Deirdre.