Rhode Island Works (RI Works) is the state’s safety net program that provides cash assistance and work readiness services to low-income families with children under age 18. RI Works was passed in 2008, replacing the Family Independence Program (FIP) which was enacted in 1996 after federal welfare reform implemented the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant. Approximately 4,100 low-income families receive RI Works benefits. Eleven years after the implementation of RI Works, it is time to review how the program is working.
The Governor’s proposed FY2020 budget (“the budget”) totals $9.9 billion, an increase of $358 million (M) over the enacted FY2019 budget. This includes $4.1 billion in general revenue ($167M more than 2019), $3.3 billion in federal funds ($110M more than 2019) with the balance from restricted receipts ($30M) and other sources such as lottery revenue ($2.3 billion). We have highlighted proposals in several areas that are important to the fiscal health of the state and its residents.
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This Guide provides information about government assistance programs and community-based resources that help low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders meet basic needs. The Guide provides a general overview, eligibility rules and application information for each program in the areas of Income Supports, Food Assistance, Health Care, Child Care, Housing, Utilities and Tax Credits.
Rhode Island is a unique place to work, live and raise a family. We have a tradition of compassion and community. We know how important it is for our neighbors to be able to meet their most basic needs.
We believe in a Rhode Island that is committed to the common good, that fosters economic progress for all its residents, and that invests in what it takes to create a healthy, vibrant community and pass opportunity on to our children.