EPI calls for alternatives to budget cuts, including raising taxes

By Chris Bergenheim – August 31, 2020 11:47 am PROVIDENCE – The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been projected to cause a massive revenue shortfall for Rhode Island for fiscal 2021. The R.I. House Fiscal Office projects that the state will contend with a $617.7 million shortfall for the year, which will need to be addressed by the …

How to Cover Rhode Island’s Revenue Shortfall

With the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, Rhode Island faces an estimated revenue shortfall of at least $617.7M for FY2021. As policymakers design the state’s FY2021 budget, they will consider this shortfall and means of addressing it. Contrary to claims that cutting spending will prove an absolute necessity, policymakers have options for avoiding destructive cuts — cuts that will …

The End of the Beginning

Excerpt from The End of the Beginning, Rhode Island Monthly, August 2020 Issue by Ellen Liberman … As generous as the State’s corporations and individuals have been, their contributions cannot replace the deep erosion of gove­ment benefits to needy families and individuals. For example, the current unemployment insurance benefits system, designed in the wake of the Great Depression, does not …

Statement from EPI in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement

The Economic Progress Institute mourns with and shares in the anger of the Black community following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other victims of white supremist violence. Police brutality and other acts of violence are an integral part of a long and continuing legacy of American racism. As an organization committed …

A moral imperative: Race, poverty and coronavirus

Published By Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell “How does anyone in good conscience separate race from poverty? You can’t. It is intricately linked. There is a tendency to not connect the dots.“The coronavirus is ripping mercilessly throughout the world and causing death and destruction. In the United States over 500,000 people have been infected. Sadly, over 24,000 have died. New York City has …

R.I. GOP, progressives criticize state’s approach

By Katherine GreggJournal Political Writer PROVIDENCE — Coming from opposite ends of the spectrum, a progressive advocacy group on Thursday renewed its call for a hike in the top income tax rate paid by Rhode Island’s top earners, while the chairwoman of the state GOP slammed legislative leaders for approving $300 million in borrowing to pay the state’s bills. The call for a hike in …

Senate leadership scales back proposal to raise R.I. minimum wage

By Katherine Gregg Journal Political Writer PROVIDENCE — Despite the push in some quarters to match Massachusetts by putting Rhode Island on a path to a $15-an-hour minimum wage, the Senate Labor Committee was unwilling to go that far, approving instead an election-year bill to raise the $10.50 minimum by $1 on Oct. 1. The committee approved the scaled-back bill on a …

Coalition Wants To Raise Cash Benefit For Poor Rhode Islanders

by Ian Donnis A coalition launched a campaign Wednesday to increase the benefit paid to poor Rhode Island families through the RI Works program. According to the Raising Rhode Island Coalition, the benefit has not been raised since 1991 — the longest such increase in New England. “This has put the purchasing power of families significantly below what it needs to be …

Queen Bees

Excerpt from Queen Bees, Rhode Island Monthly, November 2019 Issue by Jamie Coelho, Photography by Tony Luong … There’s been a baby boom at Easy Entertaining. The catering company and cafe run by women on Valley Street in Providence didn’t expect all the babies to arrive at once but that’s what happened. Like most things in life, you can’t plan …

Report: R.I.’s family assistance benefit program needs improvement

By Elizabeth Graham -April 24, 2019 9:32 am PROVIDENCE – Safety net benefits for low income families with children under 18 in Rhode Island have not increased for nearly 30 years, and have fallen below the federal poverty level, according to a report released this week by the Economic Progress Institute. The Rhode Island Works program, which is operated by the R.I. …