Legislative Testimony

Throughout the legislative session, the Economic Progress Institute tracks the budget and other bills being considered by the Rhode Island General Assembly affecting the economic well-being of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders. We present policy information and data-based testimony to committees in the General Assembly.


2020 Testimony

Testimony on Budget Article 9 (Motor Vehicle Excise Tax)
Article 9 of the Governor’s proposed FY2021 budget includes a provision to slow the phase-out of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, or “car tax.” We support this proposal, which raises the opportunity to review whether phase out of the car tax is good public policy. 

Testimony on Budget Article 11 (Wavemaker Fellowship)
Article 10, Section 9 extends the sunset date for the Wavemaker fellowship program from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2023 and Article 11 similarly extends the sunset dates for eleven tax credit/incentive programs administered by the Commerce Corporation. 

Testimony on House Bill 7429 (Child Support)
The Economic Progress Institute supports Representative Williams’ bill H7429 to eliminate interest on past-due child support payments, as 20 other states have done. 

Testimony on Budget Article 10 and 5, Question 3 section d (Child Care and Pre-K)
The Economic Progress Institute supports the articles in the Governor’s Proposed FY2021 Budget which invest in early childhood education, including Article 10 which expands access to publically funded pre-k and Article 5 which proposes a $15 million general obligation bond to finance capital projects for child care facilities.

Testimony on Budget Article 14 section 5 (Doula Services)
The Economic Progress Institute strongly supports including doula services as a required Medicaid service

Testimony on Budget Article 14 (RIte Share)
The Coalition supports large employer reporting requirements intended to help maximize RIteShare enrollment as recommended in the Governor’s budget.

Testimony on Budget Article 14 sections 1 and 5c (Medicaid Copays)
The Coalition opposes Budget Article 14 Sections 1 and 5c because Medicaid copays pose a very real barrier to care that will negatively impact health outcomes and are a bad deal for the state and the healthcare system that serves us all.

Testimony on House Bill 7881 (RI Works)
The Economic Progress Institute writes in support of H-7881, amending the RI Works statute to strengthen engagement of parents in their employment-readiness plans. The proposed change would require a parent applying for RI Works cash assistance to sign her employment plan soon after receipt of cash assistance starts instead of prior to authorization of the benefit payment. 

Testimony on Senate Bill 2143 (Minimum Wage)
The Economic Progress Institute supports Senator Quezada’s bill S2143 which would raise and phase out the tipped minimum wage, as well as put Rhode Island on a path to a $15/hour minimum wage. Rhode Island’s current sub-minimum tipped wage or “cash” wage is $3.89/hour and was last increased in 2017. 

Testimony on Senate Bill 2143 (Minimum Wage)
The Economic Progress Institute supports Senator Quezada’s bill S2143 which would place Rhode Island on a path to a $15/hour minimum wage, as well as phase out the tipped minimum wage.

Testimony on Senate Bill 2406 (Minimum Wage)
The Economic Progress Institute believes that the General Assembly and the public already possess adequate information to increase the minimum wage, and we believe Rhode Island ought to get on a path to a $15/hour minimum wage to match our neighbors in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Testimony on Budget Articles 5 and 12 (Housing)
The Economic Progress Institute writes in support of these proposals that would provide $25 million to increase construction and redevelopment of affordable homes, and create a dedicated funding stream to increase the supply of affordable safe and healthy homes.

Testimony on Senate Bill 7466 (Minimum Wage)
The Economic Progress Institute supports Representative Walsh’s bill H7466 and raising the tipped minimum wage. Rhode Island’s current sub-minimum tipped wage or “cash” wage is $3.89/hour and was last increased in 2017. Bill H7466 would increase this amount by 50 cents annually until it reaches 2/3 the value of the regular minimum wage and keep it proportional going forward.

Testimony on House Bill 7570 (Minimum Wage)
The Economic Progress Institute supports Representative Ranglin-Vassell’s bill H7570 to place Rhode Island on the path to a $15/hour minimum wage and to phase out the tipped minimum wage, as well.

Testimony on Senate Bill 2147 (Minimum Wage)
The Institute supports legislation raising the minimum wage – ideally to $15/hour – as quickly as possible. Three reasons why we need a $15/hr minimum wage is: to help our workers, to help retain our workforce, and to provide an economic boost to our Rhode Island economy.

Testimony on House Bill 7247 (Motion Picture Tax Credit)
The Economic Progress Institute supports the creation of good jobs for Rhode Islanders and encouraging economic development in those communities most in need of such development. Given this context, the Institute has significant concerns with H-7247, which would allow the director of the Film & Television Office to waive the current requirement that productions must have Rhode Island serve as their primary location.

Testimony on Senate Bill 2124 (Doula Services)
The Institute supports passage of S-2124, which would require the Medicaid program and other health insurers to cover perinatal doula services. Long standing racial and ethnic disparities persist in maternal and child health outcomes in Rhode Island. Reducing disparities, improving birth outcomes and reducing state costs is a win-winwin for our residents and the state.

Testimony on House Bill 7157 (Minimum Wage)
The Institute supports legislation raising the minimum wage – ideally to $15/hour – as quickly as possible. Three reasons why we need a $15/hr minimum wage is to: help our workers, to help retain our workforce, and to provide an economic boost to our Rhode Island economy.


Past Testimony

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