Cannabis Legalization in RI: A Racist History Demands Equitable Reform

Three proposals to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Rhode Island were presented during the 2021 legislative session: Senate Bill 568, House Bill 6370, and Article 11 of Governor McKee’s proposed FY2022 budget. The proposals are estimated to yield around $17M annually. Rhode Island legalized cannabis for medical use in 2006 and decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis …

FY2022 Budget & 2021 General Assembly Session in Review

INTRODUCTION Rhode Island’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget—authorizing $13.1 billion in total expenditures, including $4.55 billion in state General Revenue—along with other legislation passed and enacted during the 2021 General Assembly session, makes some substantial investments in Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders, while leaving on the table some important proposals. Our review of the budget and legislative session highlights progress and …

Initial response to 2022 Budget passed by the House Finance Committee

As we read through the budget details from the budget that the House Finance Committee passed last night, here are four key takeaways: Important investments in children and families and the child care workforce: RI Works: The monthly benefit for families receiving RI Works, which hasn’t been adjusted in 30 years, is increased by 30%. The benefit for a family …

Opinion/Clausius-Parks and Katz: It’s time to raise the RI Works benefit amount

Paige Clausius-Parks and Linda Katz Guest columnists Paige Clausius-Parks is a senior policy analyst at Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. Linda Katz is the policy director at the Economic Progress Institute. While many of us may feel relieved with increasing numbers of vaccinations in RI and the gradual return to our previous lives, many low-income Rhode Islanders continue to face deep …

Advocates push to provide health insurance for all RI children, regardless of immigration status

By Steve Ahlquist Representative David Morales and Senator Sandra Cano called for passage of their legislation (H5714 / S0576) at a State house press conference on Thursday to ensure that all low-income children, regardless of immigration status, qualify for health insurance under the state’s RIte Care program. The legislation “would establish Rhode Island’s commitment to provide health insurance to all …

Activists call on RI House to raise taxes on the one percent

By Steve Ahlquist Community leaders, advocates, and lawmakers gathered outside the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Thursday – the temporary meeting place of the Rhode Island House of Representatives – with a clear demand: it’s time to invest our communities’ well-being by raising revenue from the top 1% highest income earners in our state. “It’s time to invest in our people …

Activists call on RI House to raise taxes on the one percent

“It is important to pass this now,” said Rachel Flum of the Economic Progress Institute. “You may have heard that now is not the time because we’re getting a lot of federal dollars. But that is not the case. the way tax policy works is that it takes a while to get the revenue. If we pass this now, it …

On Tax Day, ITEP and EPI Analyses Highlight Negative Effects of National and State Tax Policies on Income for People of Color

Rhode Island can address historic inequities by raising taxes on top 1 percent. Today, Tax Day 2021, is a good time to reflect on the inequitable distribution of wealth and income caused by decades of policies that disadvantaged people of color. A new report, “Taxes and Racial Equity: An Overview of State and Local Policy Impacts,” published by the Institute …

Highlights of Governor’s Proposed FY2022 Budget

Last month, Governor McKee released his FY2022 proposed budget. The “budget” totals $11.17 billion, a decrease of $1.56 billion over the enacted FY2021 budget. The Institute analyzed the budget, taking a look at proposals that are important to the fiscal health of the state and its residents. Here are some key points from the perspective of what will impact the …

Debunking the Providence Chamber / RIPEC false claims about increasing taxes on the top one percent

By Uprise RI On Thursday, UpriseRI editor and founder Steve Ahlquist held a discussion with Representative Karen Alzate (Democrat, District 60, Pawtucket) and three experts in public policy on legislation that, when passed, would raise the income tax on the top one percent of Rhode Islanders. The discussion was held in response to a video featuring Laurie White of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Michael DiBiase of the Rhode Island Public Expenditures …