Impact of our work
I was juggling 3 jobs to try and support [my kids],
and then was told that my third job put me over the
[Child Care Assistance Program] limit by $25 a week. So I was cut-off from the day care subsidy and my weekly payment went from $50 a week to $330." - Rachel, mother from Narragansett who helped lawmakers understand how the income limit in the Child Care Assistance Program was hurting working families
In 2013 we made progress. Here are three examples of policies that changed because of our leadership this year:
Expansion to Child Care Assistance will allow for upward mobility.
After years of cutbacks, the state's Child Care Assistance Program was
expanded for the coming year, making it possible for parents to earn
more without losing their child care assistance. This change will allow
families whose income rises just above the current income limit to save
close to $500 a month in child care expenses.
Lawmakers turned up the volume on silent spending.
For the first time several of the state's economic development tax incentives will be evaluated every three years, beginning in 2014. In addition, the Governor will be required to include any recently evaluated incentives in his/her budget proposal with a recommendation as to whether each should be continued, modified, or terminated. To date, there has been no analysis to determine whether these incentives, estimated to cost at least $40 million each year, are providing a return to the state's economy.
State funds for workforce training included in budget for the first time.
For the first time the state is investing its own money in workforce training beginning in 2014. The money will provide for paid work-experience opportunities and establish a non-trade apprenticeship program. Increasing the skills of our workforce is a critical stop to rebuilding our state's economy.
We have successfully raised awareness about the economic challenges facing the state and its residents by:
- Commenting in over 225 media stories at the local, regional, and national level since 2008, and producing and hosting more than twenty cable access programs on topics related to our mission.
- Training over one thousand social service providers about the government-sponsored work support programs that help lower wage working families make ends meet and about the safety-net programs that help Rhode Islanders in crisis.
- Creating the web-based Guide to Assistance Programs, a vital tool to help Rhode Islanders understand the assistance available to them in the areas of income supports, food assistance, health care, child care and more.
- Publishing numerous full-length reports, issue briefs, fact sheets, op-eds, and other documents that we disseminate to policymakers, community leaders, and other interested parties.
- Testifying on a host of bills in order to educate policymakers about the impact of proposed legislation on the fiscal health of the state and its residents.
- Hosting our annual budget conference and encore presentations which have been attended by hundreds of policymakers, community leaders and members of the public who are interested in state fiscal and policy issues.
With your support, we are putting more Rhode Islanders on a path to economic progress. Make a gift today.