The Economic Progress Institute is a go-to source for expert information on budget and policy issues impacting the economic well-being of Rhode Islanders.
Whether it’s commenting on a hot issue, contributing an op-ed, promoting a new report or helping a reporter with background information, we work with the media to give a voice to low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders in the news.
If you are a member of the media, and would like to set up an interview with someone from the Economic Progress Institute, contact:
Juan Espinoza, Communications & Outreach Associate
Office (401) 456-2752
Cell (813) 526-3043
Top Media Mentions in 2020
Senate leadership scales back proposal to raise R.I. minimum wage
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The Public's Radio
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Op-ed: How to Cover Rhode Island’s Revenue Shortfall
NEW REPORT SHOWS HOW ESSENTIAL WORKERS OFTEN STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND HOW GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS HELPED RHODE ISLANDERS DURING COVID-19
The Economic Progress Institute released its biennial report, the Rhode Island Standard of Need (RISN), which shows what it costs to live in Rhode Island. The RISN calculates a no-frills budget that includes the cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, child care, and other basic necessities. It also highlights how federal and state work supports help Rhode Islanders meet the costs of basic needs. This year’s report also looks at racial and ethnic disparities in the ability of Rhode Islanders to meet basic needs and how additional government support has helped essential and other workers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of this report show that Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders are less likely to be able to meet expenses.
- Read the December 17, 2020 press release.
LATEST CENSUS POVERTY DATA HIGHLIGHT BARRIERS TO ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR RHODE ISLANDERS, ESPECIALLY COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
2020 Updates Show Urgent Need for Government Action
People across Rhode Island continue to face dire economic hardship — particularly Rhode Islanders of color and those with low incomes — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the need for bold action at the state and federal levels clearer than ever. That’s the picture painted by new data released today from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the ongoing Household Pulse Survey.
Rhode Island’s overall poverty rate in 2019 was the 2nd highest in New England with 110,000 — more than 1 in 10 Rhode Islanders struggling to afford basic needs. However, the 2019 data do not reflect the economic hardship currently experienced by Rhode Islanders due to COVID-19.
- Read the September 17, 2020 press release.
RHODE ISLAND’S LOW UNINSURED RATE CONTINUED IN 2019
For 2020, the federal government must act so Medicaid coverage mitigates loss of employer coverage during COVID and to shore up state budgets
New data released by the Census Bureau today show that in 2019, there were 43,000 Rhode Islanders (4.1%) who lacked health insurance. This is essentially the same rate as in the previous year but less than half the rate in 2013 before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Rhode Island ranks as the 3rd best state in the nation for coverage of its residents.
The 2019 data do not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on health insurance coverage. According to the Census Bureau, in 2019 60.7% of Rhode Islanders had employer-based health insurance. The significant job and income losses due to COVID-19 over the last 6 months may also have resulted in loss of health insurance, but the availability of Medicaid may have helped mitigate the loss of coverage.
- Read the September 15, 2020 press release.
MORE RHODE ISLANDERS GAINED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE IN 2018
New data released by the Census Bureau today show that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working in Rhode Island and the country. The percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders in 2018 was 4.1 percent compared with 4.6 percent the previous year and less than half the rate in 2013 before the ACA went into effect.
- Read the September 10, 2019 press release.
NEW EPI REPORT EXPLAINS RHODE ISLAND’S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM FOR ADULTS
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 and allocating resources for the system, which is coordinated by the Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB). The paper also includes an overview of how Rhode Islanders know about and access the opportunities for jobs and skills training. The report was funded by the Pawtucket Credit Union.
- Read the August 29, 2019 press release.
RHODE ISLAND CAN STRENGTHEN ITS ECONOMY AND COMMUNITIES THROUGH INCLUSIVE POLICIES FOR IMMIGRANTS
State and local policymakers can take key steps to better integrate immigrants, including immigrants who are undocumented, into the mainstream economy and foster community well-being, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Giving all residents access to economic opportunity would enable them to earn higher wages, spend more at businesses, and contribute more in taxes that are used to fund schools and other investments that are critical to a strong economy, the report finds. Harsh anti-immigrant policies, in contrast, harm workers and their children and likely weaken the economy.
- Read the August 21, 2019 press release.
EPI STATEMENT ON RHODE ISLAND FY2020 BUDGET PASSING SENATE
The Economic Progress Institute issued a statement on the passage of the FY2020 budget.
- Read the June 28, 2019 press release.
NEW EPI BRIEF ANALYZES HOW FEDERAL INVESTMENTS HAVE IMPROVED RHODE ISLAND‘S CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS CONGRESS DEBATES $2.4 BILLION EXPANSION OF CHILD CARE FUNDING
The Economic Progress Institute’s latest brief entitled “Improving Access and Quality: Rhode Island’s Child Care Assistance Program,” analyzes the funding of Rhode Island’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), including the impact that the additional federal funds had on the program, and provides recommendations to further improve the program. Infusing CCAP with federal and state dollars would allow the state to make additional improvements that would address the present needs of Rhode Island parents and children.
- Read the June 18, 2019 press release.
NEW REPORT SHOWS WORK-SUPPORT PROGRAMS LIKE HEALTH CARE AND CHILD CARE HELP RHODE ISLANDERS MAKE ENDS MEET
The Economic Progress Institute released its biennial report showing what it costs to live in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Standard of Need (RISN) calculates a no-frills budget that includes the cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, child care and other basic necessities. The report finds that it costs a single-parent family over $55,000 and a two-parent family over $60,000 to raise a toddler and school age child. A single adult has basic needs expenses close to $22,000. But sixty seven percent of single-parent families, twenty-eight percent of two-parent families and forty-three percent of single adults do not earn enough to cover basic expenses.
- Read the December 20, 2018 press release.
EPI BOARD ELECTS NEW CHAIR, ADDS TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The Economic Progress Institute is pleased to announce that current board member Carolyn Mark, a longtime policy advocate and current chair of the East Greenwich school committee, has been elected Chair of the Institute’s Board of Directors. Mark takes over for Lisa Roth Blackman, Chief Development Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank who has served as the chair for the last three years and who will continue to serve on the EPI board.
We are pleased to welcome two new board members who have worked with the Institute over the past decade to further our mission of improving economic security and opportunity for Rhode Islanders. Paola Fenandez and Jill Beckwith have worked with Institute staff on health care and economic security policies at the state house and in coalition work. We are excited to have their experience on our board.
- Read the November 2, 2018 press release
NEW ANALYSIS: LOW-INCOME TAXPAYERS IN RHODE ISLAND PAY OVER 50% MORE IN TAXES THAN THE WEALTHIEST RESIDENTS
On October 17, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released its 6th ed, “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States report. The report evaluates all major state and local taxes, including personal and corporate income taxes, property taxes, sales and other excise taxes.
While the top one percent of Rhode Islanders (earning over $467,700 a year) pay 7.9 percent of their income in total taxes, the lowest income Rhode Islanders, those earning less than $21,700 a year, pay over 12 percent of their income in taxes. ITEP produced a two-page factsheet which summarizes the report’s findings for Rhode Island.
- Read the October 17, 2018 press release
LATEST CENSUS NUMBERS HIGHLIGHT BARRIERS TO PROSPERITY FOR MANY RHODE ISLANDERS, ESPECIALLY RHODE ISLANDERS OF COLOR
Rhode Island’s overall poverty rate in 2017 continued to be the highest in New England with more than one in nine (11.6%) Rhode Islanders struggling to afford basic necessities, according to new data released today by the US Census Bureau. The poverty level for a single adult was $12,140/year in 2017 and $24,600 for a family of 4. While Rhode Island’s rate is lower than the national rate of 13.4% it is unacceptable that nearly 120,000 residents live in poverty and one in four residents have income below twice the poverty level, generally considered to be the amount required to meet basic needs. (The 11.6% percent poverty rate for 2017 compares to a 12.8% poverty rate for 2016 although the two rates are not far enough apart to indicate a statistically significant decline).
- Read the September 13, 2018 press release
RHODE ISLAND IS TIED FOR SECOND LOWEST RATE OF UNINSURED IN NEW ENGLAND AND FOURTH LOWEST IN THE COUNTRY THANKS TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
New data released by the Census Bureau today show that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working in Rhode Island and the country. The percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders in 2017 was 4.6 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in the previous year and still less than half the 2013 rate before the ACA went into effect. Under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Rhode Islanders with incomes just above the federal poverty level became eligible for coverage for the first time while those with higher incomes could purchase coverage through HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance exchange. Nationally, 8.7 percent of Americans were uninsured in 2017, down from 14.5 percent prior to the ACA
- Read the September 12, 2018 press release
TOP 1 PERCENT IN RHODE ISLAND EARN 18.2 TIMES MORE THAN THE BOTTOM 99 PERCENT
In The New Gilded Age: Income Inequality in the U.S. by State, Metropolitan Area, and County, a new paper published by the D.C. based Economic Policy Institute for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, PA and Estelle Sommeiller, a socio-economist at France’s Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences, detail the incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent by state, metropolitan area, and county.
- Read the July 19, 2018 press release
EPI CELEBRATES 10TH ANNUAL POLICY AND BUDGET CONFERENCE
The Economic Progress Institute celebrated its 10th annual policy and budget conference entitled Budget Rhode Map: Paving the Way to Good Jobs. Each year, the Institute hosts a half-day conference to educate policymakers, community leaders, and interested residents about critical policy challenges and opportunities facing Rhode Island. This year’s conference focused on strategies that improve the skills of Rhode Island’s workforce, especially for adults with lower skills and English language needs.
- Read the April 26, 2018 press release
FLAWED ‘TAX FREEDOM’ ANALYSIS SHOULDN’T PREVENT RHODE ISLAND LAWMAKERS FROM RAISING REVENUES NEEDED TO MEET OCEAN STATE NEEDS AND INVEST IN PROSPERITY
Although the Tax Foundation has released its annual “Tax Freedom Day” report finding that Rhode Island is one of the last states in the nation to reach this day, there are some serious methodological problems with this report. In fact the entire concept of “tax freedom,” is problematic as we noted in our recent op-ed highlighting the importance of state revenues for building vibrant communities and a prosperous Rhode Island.
- Read the April 23, 2018 press release
2018 PROSPERITY NOW RHODE ISLAND SCORECARD
A new report by Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) shows that while Rhode Island has made some progress to help low-income families build a more prosperous future, more remains to be done.
- Read the February 8, 2018 press release
STATE OF WORKING RHODE ISLAND 2017
The State of Working Rhode Island 2017 report focuses on the role that both education and training play in helping workers thrive, drawing on research at the national and state level to better understand the strategies that work to improve adult education, especially for those currently working in low-wage, lower skilled jobs. While formal postsecondary education – in the form of an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree, or higher – may be the right path for many, others can benefit from attaining occupational credentials, either via apprenticeship programs, or college-based certificate programs.
- Read the December 20, 2017 press release
LATEST CONGRESSIONAL TAX REFORM PACKAGE WOULD GIVE RHODE ISLAND’S TOP 1% NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF TOTAL TAX CUTS
A new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that the “tax reform framework” released by the Trump administration and Congressional Republican leaders on September 27, would fail to deliver on its promise of largely helping middle-class taxpayers. In Rhode Island these changes would shower 65.2 percent of the total tax cut on the states wealthiest residents. The top one percent of the state’s residents would receive an average tax cut of $55,510, accounting for nearly 2/3 of the overall tax change, compared with an average tax cut of just $240 for the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers in the state.
- Read the October 10, 2017 press release
THREE NEW MEMBERS JOIN ECONOMIC PROGRESS INSTITUTE BOARD
The Economic Progress Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Julie DiBari, CEO of the Capacity Group; Robert Ferreira, Principal at Duxford Capital Advisors; and Dr. Jessica Sherwood, Professor of Sociology at Johnson and Wales University have joined the Institute’s Board of Directors.
- Read the October 4, 2017 press release
CONTINUED PROGRESS LIFTING RHODE ISLANDERS OUT OF POVERTY WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THRIVING ECONOMY
Rhode Island continues to see declines in the overall poverty rate (at 12.8 percent, down significantly from the recent peak poverty rate of 15.9 percent according to new data released today by the US Census Bureau. Continued success lifting the nearly one hundred and thirty thousand (129,932) Rhode Islanders remaining in poverty in 2016 will help Rhode Island’s economy thrive. (The 2016 poverty level for a family of four was $24,563). The 12.8 percent poverty rate for 2016 compares to a 13.9 percent poverty rate for 2015 (though the two rates are not far enough apart to indicate a statistically significant decline in poverty).
- Read the September 14, 2017 press release.
NUMBER OF UNINSURED RHODE ISLANDERS CONTINUES TO DROP THANKS TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
New data released by the Census Bureau today shows that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working in Rhode Island and the country. The percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders in 2016 was 4.3 percent in 2016, down from 5.7 percent in the previous year and less than half the 2013 rate, before the ACA went into effect. Rhode Islanders with incomes just above the federal poverty level became eligible for Medicaid for the first time under the ACA while those with higher incomes could purchase coverage through HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance exchange. Nationally, 8.6 percent of Americans were uninsured 2016, down from 14.5 percent prior to the ACA, despite the fact that twenty states chose not to expand Medicaid to their low-income single adult residents.
- Read the September 12, 2017 press release.
TRUMP TAX PLAN WOULD GIVE RICHEST RHODE ISLAND TAXPAYERS AN AVERAGE $86,610 TAX CUT, WHICH IS 1.7 TIMES THE ANNUAL INCOME OF MIDDLE-INCOME RHODE ISLANDERS
A new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals a federal tax reform plan based on President Trump’s April outline would fail to deliver on its promise of largely helping middle-class taxpayers, showering 61.4 percent of the total tax cut on the richest 1 percent nationwide. In Rhode Island, the top 1 percent of the state’s residents would receive an average tax cut of $86,610 compared with an average tax cut of just $430 for the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers in the state.
- Read the July 20th press release.
TRUMP BUDGET WOULD SHIFT ENORMOUS COSTS TO STATE
President Trump’s 2018 budget would deeply cut funding for programs that help low- and moderate-income people, shifting large and growing costs to Rhode Island over the next decade, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In addition, the budget eliminates several programs that contribute to thriving cities and towns, including funding for Community Learning Centers, Community Services Block Grants, and Community Development Block Grants. It makes deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program (TANF) and to Medicaid.
- Read the June 14th press release.
RHODE ISLAND CHARTS A PATH AROUND FEDERAL ROAD BLOCKS
Approximately 200 people attended The Economic Progress Institute’s 9th annual Policy and Budget Conference, Budget Rhode Map: Our Path Around Federal Road Blocks. Each year, the Institute hosts a half-day conference to educate policymakers, community leaders, and interested residents about critical policy challenges and opportunities facing Rhode Island. This year’s conference highlighted potential federal policy changes that may negatively impact our state, with a focus on health care and workers’ rights and wages. Executive Director Rachel Flum and Board Chair Lisa Roth Blackmun welcomed participants. Governor Gina Raimondo and Senate Finance Chairman William Conley gave opening remarks.
- Read the May 4th press release.
U.S. HOUSE ACA REPEAL BILL WOULD MEAN MORE UNINSURED, COSTLIER COVERAGE IN RHODE ISLAND
A recently released report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes the wide-ranging harm to Rhode Islanders, the health care system and the state’s economy that would result from the US House ACA repeal bill – the American Health Care Act, (AHCA). The bill would effectively end Medicaid expansion, which has provided access to comprehensive health insurance coverage to 70,000 low-income adults age 19 – 65, raise costs for the 30,000 people who buy coverage through HealthSource RI, and shift $3 billion in Medicaid costs to the state over ten years.
- Read the April 14 press release.
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS PAY $31.2 MILLION IN STATE & LOCAL TAXES IN RHODE ISLAND
Undocumented immigrants contribute $11.7 billion to state and local coffers each year, including $31.2 million in Rhode Island, according to a new study released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The study, Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions, also estimates that Rhode Island would gain more than $6 million under comprehensive immigration reform.
- Read the March 3 press release.
BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE SEEK TO IMPROVE RHODE ISLAND’S PAID FAMILY LEAVE PROGRAM
Bills introduced by Senator Gayle Goldin and Representative Shelby Maldonado would provide more security for workers and their families by expanding access to the state’s paid family leave program, the Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI). TCI provides up to four weeks of partial (about 60%) wage replacement for workers who need to take time from their jobs to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child. Proposed amendments to the law, which became effective in January, 2014, would respond to research on the effectiveness of the program, by increasing the number of weeks, the amount of wage replacement and other changes.
- Read the March 2 press release
WORK SUPPORT PROGRAMS HELP RHODE ISLANDERS MAKE ENDS MEET WHEN WAGES AREN’T ENOUGH
For many Rhode Island working families, tax credits and other work supports help close the gap between earnings and basic living expenses, according to the Rhode Island Standard of Need (RISN), a report released by the Economic Progress Institute. Child care and health care subsidies are particularly vital for working families.
- Read the December 14 press release.
ECONOMIC PROGRESS INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The Economic Progress Institute is pleased to announce that Carolyn Mark, Chair of the East Greenwich school committee, and Dr. Eric Hirsch, Professor of Sociology at Providence College, have joined the Institute’s Board of Directors.
- Read the October 24 press release.
LATEST POVERTY FIGURES SHOW TOO MANY RHODE ISLANDERS STILL STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET
Over one hundred forty thousand (141,035) Rhode Islanders lived in poverty in 2015, according to new data released today from the Census Bureau. The drop in the rate to 13.9% in 2015 from 14.1% in 2014 is not statistically significant. The poverty level for a family of four is approximately $24,000.
- Read the September 15 press release.
MORE RHODE ISLANDERS HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE THANKS TO HEALTH CARE REFORM.
(September 13, 2016)
New Census data show that the percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders was 5.7 percent in 2015, half the rate it was in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. In 2014, 7.4% were uninsured.
- Read the September 13 press release.
STATE ESTATE TAXES ARE VITAL TOOLS FOR BROADLY SHARED PROSPERITY (May 11, 2016)
A new report released this morning by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities emphasizes the importance of state estate taxes as tools for broadly shared prosperity and as a means to ensure that the very wealthy don’t avoid taxes by sheltering their wealth.
- Read the May 11 press release.
LEGISLATORS SHOULD PRIORITIZE RHODE ISLAND WORKERS (May 4, 2016)
On Friday it was reported in the Providence Journal that Speaker Mattiello’s budget priorities include reducing the estate tax by increasing the threshold for paying the tax from $1.5 to $2 million at an estimated cost of $4.3 million, as well reducing the corporate minimum tax from $450 to $400 at an estimated cost of $3.2 million. Reducing the estate tax and corporate minimum tax will provide little benefit to the overwhelming majority of Rhode Islanders and are not a good use of public funds.
- Read the May 4 press release.
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS PAY $33.4 MILLION IN STATE & LOCAL TAXES IN RHODE ISLAND
(February 25, 2016)
Undocumented immigrants contribute more than $11.6 billion to state and local coffers each year, including $33.4 million in Rhode Island, according to a new study released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The study, Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions, also estimates that Rhode Island stands to gain $2.5 million in increased revenue under full implementation of the Obama administration’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions and by more than $7.0 million under comprehensive immigration reform.
- Read the February 25 press release.
WHY IT’S TIME FOR RHODE ISLAND TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE (February 24, 2016)
A new paper released yesterday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) highlights the importance of investing in infrastructure. Doing so creates jobs today, and lays the foundation for future prosperity.
- Read the February 24 press release.
MANY RHODE ISLANDERS STILL STRUGGLING, ESPECIALLY WITH HOMEOWNERSHIP, CFED REPORT FINDS (January 25, 2016)
New data released today by CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development), a national partner of Rhode Island’s Economic Progress Institute, shows that too many Rhode Island families remain economically vulnerable. Smart public policies that create opportunities for families to save and make investments in their future prosperity pay huge dividends for all of us. The Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, now published annually, shows Rhode Island ranked 35th overall in Outcomes, despite ranking 8th overall in the Scorecard’s Policy measures.
- Read the January 25 press release
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS CHALLENGES FACED BY RHODE ISLAND WORKERS OF COLOR (Dec 17, 2015)
The Institute released a report entitled, “The State of Working Rhode Island: Workers of Color”, which highlights the many challenges facing Rhode Island workers, showing the many areas where workers of color fare less well than others. The Institute also released an accompanying Policy Recommendations document showing that there are policy solutions within our grasp that can shift economic trends that have been holding Rhode Island families back.
- Read the December 17 press release
REPORTS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR CHILD CARE CHANGES – BOTH FOR FAMILIES NEEDING CHILD CARE AND WORKERS PROVIDING CARE (Nov 13, 2015)
Two recent papers released by the DC-based Economic Policy Institute have highlighted the economic impact of child care on American working families. The Economic Progress Institute and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT are partnering to highlight the findings of these papers for Rhode Island families, and those working to provide child care for Ocean State children.
- Read the November 13 press release
DOUGLAS HALL JOINS EPI AS DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC & FISCAL POLICY (Oct 8, 2015)
The Economic Progress Institute is pleased to announce that Douglas Hall, Ph.d. has joined the staff of the Institute as its new Director of Economic and Fiscal Policy.
- Read the October 8 press release.
ECONOMIC PROGRESS INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP (Sept 22, 2015)
Eleven years after stepping in to succeed her mentor and co-founder of the Economic Progress Institute Nancy Gewirtz, Kate Brewster is stepping down as executive director to take on a new challenge.
- Read the September 22nd press release.
LATEST POVERTY FIGURES UNDERSCORE NEED FOR INCREASED STATE EITC (Sept 17, 2015)
The Institute issued a press release on the latest US Census Bureau poverty figures which show that one in seven Rhode Islanders have serious problems paying for food, housing, and other basic needs. With so many Rhode Islanders continuing to struggle to make ends meet, the need to further increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is greater than ever.
- Read the September 17th press release.
RESPONSE TO THE STATE’S 2015 TAX CREDIT AND INCENTIVE REPORT (Aug 18, 2015)
The Institute issued a press statement on the Annual Tax Credit and Incentive Report which shows that Rhode Island gave up more than $30M in revenue to five economic development tax credits last year. While the information provided in the report is important, it tells us nothing about whether these tax incentives have been effective tools for growing our state’s economy. That was supposed to change this year.
- Read the August 18th press statement.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO LIVE IN THE OCEAN STATE? (August 18, 2015)
The Institute released its updated Cost of Living Calculator, an interactive tool that shows how much a family needs to earn to enjoy a secure, yet modest standard of living in the Ocean State.
- Read the August 18th press release.
FREE TAX PREPARATION HELPS WORKING FAMILIES (March 6, 2015)
The Institute issued press releases to local communities informing them of VITA site awareness day and the importance of tax credits to working families.
- Read the Woonsocket press release.
OCEAN STATE TAX CODE ASKS THOSE WITH LEAST TO PAY THE MOST (January 14, 2015)
The Institute co-released the latest Who Pays? report with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy which shows that the lowest-income Rhode Islanders pay nearly twice as much of their income towards state and local taxes as the wealthiest taxpayers.
- Read the January 14th press release.
WORKING FAMILIES STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET (December 17, 2014)
The Institute releases its biennial report, The Rhode Island Standard of Need, showing what is costs to live and raise a family in the Ocean State, and how tax credits, food assistance and child care and health care subsidies help close the gap between earnings and expenses.
- Read the December 17th press release
TOO MANY RHODE ISLANDERS STRUGGLING TO MEET THE BASICS (September 18, 2014)
New census data reveals poverty and income remain unchanged in Rhode Island in 2013, underscoring the need for the state to do more to help the one in seven Rhode Islanders who can’t afford the basics and struggle to make ends meet.
- Read the September 18, 2014 press release
NEW TAX PLAN GIVES TO WEALTHY, TAKES FROM LOW-INCOME RHODE ISLANDERS (June 2014)
New analysis shows few winners and lots of losers in tax reform. The state’s latest spending plan cuts $3.9M in tax assistance to low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders while giving $9M in big tax breaks to the heirs of wealthy estates.
INCOME INEQUALITY GREW SIGNIFICANTLY IN RHODE ISLAND SINCE RECOVERY (Feb 19, 2014)
Incomes at all levels declined as a result of the Great Recession and lopsided income growth has reemerged since the recovery began in 2009… Between 2009 and 2011, income growth was 17.3 percent for the top 1% of Rhode Island earners, while the bottom 99% suffered a 4.3 percent loss in income.
- Read the press release.
NEARLY 40% OF RI HOUSEHOLDS ARE ONE CRISIS AWAY FROM FINANCIAL DEVASTATION (Jan 30, 2014)
A recent report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) finds that 38.7 percent of Rhode Islanders are “liquid asset poor” or “in a persistent state of financial insecurity,” meaning that they lack adequate savings to cover basic expenses for three months in the event of an emergency (e.g. job loss). Rhode Island ranked 40th nationally in the financial security of residents.
- Read the press release.
POVERTY, INCOME UNCHANGED LAST YEAR IN RHODE ISLAND (Sept 19, 2013)
Poverty rates and median household income in Rhode Island remained relatively unchanged in 2012 at 13.7% and $54,554 respectively, according to the latest figures released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Analysis of ACS data for 2012 illustrates the ongoing struggle of Rhode Island residents in the wake of the recession.
- Read the press release.
125,000 RHODE ISLANDERS UNDER AGE 65 LACKED HEALTH INSURANCE IN 2012 (Sept 17, 2013)
According to data from the 2012 Current Population Survey, the number of uninsured non-elderly individuals living in The Ocean State has not changed significantly since the previous collection period. Rhode Island claims the highest share of uninsured in New England, the 15th lowest rate in the country.
- Read the press release.
AS LABOR DAY APPROACHES, NEW REPORT PROVIDES EVIDENCE THAT INVESTING IN EDUCATION WILL BUILD A STRONGER RHODE ISLAND ECONOMY (Aug 19, 2013)
A new paper published by the Economic Policy Institute entitled, “A Well Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity,” highlights the correlation between educational attainment and higher wages. As states like Rhode Island shift from an industrial- to knowledge-based economy, investments to empower a well-educated and productive workforce are critical.
- Read the press release
RESPONSE TO THE STATE’S 2013 TAX CREDIT AND INCENTIVE REPORT (Aug 16, 2013)
The Institute responds to the Annual report shows that Rhode Island gave up close to $18M in revenueto five economic development tax credits last year. Thanks to a newlaw, in the future Rhode Islanders will know whether these and other taxcredits are cost-effective economic development strategies.
- Read the press release.
RHODE ISLAND MILITARY FAMILIES RELY ON WORKING FAMILY TAX CREDITS
The Institute co-released “Working-Family Tax Credits Help Over 1 Million Military Families: Credits Keep More Than 140,000 Veteran and Active-Duty Families Out of Poverty”. This report shows that roughly 3,000 military families in RI received these credits.
- Read the press release.
ECO. DEVELOPMENT TAX INCENTIVES EVALUATION ACT PASSES SENATE, MOVES TO HOUSE (June 14, 2013)
Chairman DaPonte sponsored a bill requiring a host of tax expenditures related to economic development be evaluated every three years to assess whether the state is using it’s resources in the most effective way possible.
- Read the press release
COLLEGE TUITION HIKES IN RI AMONG WORST IN COUNTRY, NEW REPORT SHOWS (March 13, 2013)
Governor Chafee’s proposal to increase state spending on higher education b y $6 million and freeze tuition is critical to Rhode Island students, families and the economy – given findings from a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.
- Read the press release
POOREST RI HOUSEHOLDS PAY ALMOST TWICE AS MUCH IN TAXES AS WEALTHIEST HOUSEHOLDS (January 30, 2013)
The Institute co-released “Who Pays?” with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The study analyzes the fairness of state tax systems, and found Rhode Island is among the ten states that taxes the poor the most heavily.
- Read the press release.
HIGH COST OF LIVING MAKES WORK SUPPORTS CRUCIAL FOR RI FAMILIES (November 15, 2012)
The Institute releases its biennial report showing what is costs to live and raise a family in the Ocean State, and how tax credits, food assistance and child care and health care subsidies help close the gap between earnings and expenses.
- Read the press release.
The ECONOMIC PROGRESS INSTITUTE ADDS SIX NEW BOARD MEMBERS (September 24, 2012) The Institute welcomes six new outstanding individuals to its board of directors.
- Read the press release
NUMBER OF RHODE ISLANDERS IN POVERTY REMAINS HIGH (September 20, 2012)The Institute provides data from the 2011 American Community Survey that shows poverty is still high in Rhode Island, and deep poverty is rising.
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120,500 RHODE ISLANDERS UNDER 65 LACK HEALTH INSURANCE (September 12, 2012) The Institute describes census data that shows the number of Rhode Islanders without health insurance remains unchanged, as national number declines. Share of state residents without insurance is worst in New England.