COVID-19: Protecting Rhode Islanders and the State’s Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic is both a public health crisis and an economic crisis. When put together these become a moral crisis. Many people have been asked to make temporary economic sacrifices in order to protect public health and save lives. When we ask people to make such sacrifices, we, as a state, have a moral obligation to help them. And …

Are Economic Development Tax Incentives Reports Facilitating Transparency and Accountability?

Like most states, Rhode Island offers numerous tax incentives seeking to generate economic activity and create jobs. These Economic Development Incentives aim to leverage state revenues to encourage new business startups, facilitate the expansion of existing businesses, and attract new businesses to the state. The incentives take many forms, including those of tax credits, tax exemptions, tax deductions, and preferential …

Highlights of the Governor’s Proposed FY2021 Budget

The Governor’s proposed FY2021 budget (“the budget”) totals $10.2 billion, an increase of $224M over the enacted FY2020 budget. This includes $4.2 billion in general revenue ($170M more than 2020) and $3.3 billion in federal funds ($2.2M less than 2020), with the balance from restricted receipts ($349M, $38M more than 2020) and other sources such as lottery revenue ($2.3 billion, …

The Uneven Path 2020

Economic insecurity is at the root cause of many problems women and girls face in Rhode Island. Work support programs such as subsidized child care, when well-funded, provide vital support for families not earning adequate income. In the 2020 Uneven Path, we review the status of these programs and provide information about two professions in which women comprise the majority …

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 …

Rhode Island’s Workforce Development System for Adults An Overview

Workforce development is a necessity for both employees and businesses. For an individual, it means raising the income for their family. For a business, it means staying competitive. For the government, it grows or enhances economic development. The Economic Progress Institute’s latest report “Rhode Island’s Workforce Development System for Adults: An Overview,” explains the key players involved in developing policy …

Highlights of the 2019 General Assembly Session: 2020 Enacted Budget and Legislation

Overview The 2020 budget (“the budget”) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019 totals $9.971 billion: General Revenues  $4,077,594,991 40.9% Federal Funds  $3,325,364,065 33.4% Other Funds  $2,256,279,162 22.6% Restricted Receipts  $311,382,120 3.1% Total  $9,970,620,338 100% General Revenues include personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, sales taxes, and use fees. Federal Funds include, among other things, matching funds for Medicaid …

Improving Access and Quality: Rhode Island’s Child Care Assistance Program

In March 2018, Congress approved legislation to almost double the amount of discretionary funds for the main federal-state program to assist low-income families with child care expenses. Rhode Island received $5.1 million of these funds and has used the money as a catalyst to improve access and quality. The state’s no waiting-list policy of accepting all those eligible has continued, …

Why Repealing/Cutting the Estate Tax Will Hurt Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s estate tax provides revenues for programs and services critical to a strong economic foundation for the Ocean State. In 2014, the General Assembly increased the estate tax exemption to $1.5 million (an amount which has increased, due to inflation adjustments, to $1,561,719). In the four years since this change, Rhode Island has foregone $103.2 million in revenues through …

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. …