Policy Agenda

Advancing Equity and Economic Opportunities in Rhode Island

The Economic Progress Institute’s 2022 Policy Agenda focuses on advancing equity in Rhode Island and encompasses policy priorities informed by community members and our partners. The pursuit of equity pulls together many issues of concern that might otherwise seem like isolated issues. For example, historic housing discrimination going back decades coupled with tax policy favoring homeowners over renters helped create ongoing racial wealth disparities. Poverty and economic well-being are multi-dimensional issues that benefit from a holistic approach, allowing one to see the connections linking individual policies. EPI has identified five main areas of opportunity to advance policies centered around racial, ethnic, and gender equity and to thereby help ensure the economic well-being of all Rhode Islanders.



2022 Policy Agenda

 

ECONOMIC EQUITY AND JUSTICE to expand economic security for workers and families:

  • Improve the RI Works program
  • Increase funding to train lower-skilled workers
  • Improve access to early education and childcare assistance & strengthen the early childhood education workforce
  • Expand and modify Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs
  • Extend family and medical leave options for caregivers
  • Phase out the tipped minimum wage
  • Further increase the minimum wage
  • Make cannabis legalization equitable for those harmed by the war on drugs
  • End predatory/payday lending
  • Reform fines and fees imposed by the courts on low-income defendants in criminal cases

 

TAX, BUDGET, AND REVENUE FAIRNESS AND EQUITY to raise revenue fairly and invest wisely in recovery:

  • Raise revenue to invest in Rhode Island’s future by creating a new tax bracket for the top 1%
  • Increase capital gains taxes and a tax on non-owner occupied second homes
  • Increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Ensure that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are invested in programs and services that promote an equitable recovery

EQUITY FOR IMMIGRANTS to extend security and opportunity to all Rhode Islanders:

  • Driver’s licenses for all Rhode Islanders, regardless of immigration status

     

 

 

EQUITY IN HEALTHCARE to protect and promote the health of all Rhode Islanders:

  • Codify Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance consumer protections in state law
  • Extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12-months postpartum for all women who are enrolled in Medicaid when they give birth
  • Provide RIte Care health insurance for children regardless of immigration status
  • Create equity in abortion coverage
  • Increase Medicare Savings Program Income limits
  • Maintain and expand investments in Home & Community Based Services (HCBS), including increased wages for healthcare workers

 

 

 

DEMOCRACY AND EQUITY IN ACTION to make room for broader participation in the political and legislative processes:

  • Let RI Vote by removing barriers and expanding access for voters

Require equity impact analysis and statements for legislative proposals

 

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