Religious, Advocacy Groups Call for General Assembly to go Back in Session

GoLocalProv Political Team

More than 20 religious and advocacy groups sent a letter to the Rhode Island General Assembly calling for them to get back into session to completed the business left unfinished, including the 2018 budget.

“Every day that goes by without a budget makes it harder to have a good revenue and spending plan for 2018. We’re glad to hear there is movement toward coming back into session and urge leaders to keep those conversations going,” said Rachel Flum, Executive Director of the Economic Progress Institute.

In the letter, the groups call the delay in passing a budget has “real and mounting human costs” and that it will become increasingly difficult for local governments to make up lost revenue and implement savings, particularly in funding educational programs.

The organizations also urge reconciliation and passage of bills to disarm domestic abusers, guarantee earned sick days, adopt proven reforms to criminal justice, allow workers to form co-ops, reduce toxic substances, and protect healthcare.

“Despite popular support among lawmakers for legislation that affects hundreds of thousands of state residents, change is stalled until the General Assembly can come back together to complete their work. Based on what we have been hearing in the news, we’re hopeful the House and Senate will come back soon. Rhode Islanders really want that to happen,” said Georgia Hollister Isman, director of Rhode Island Working Families.

The groups also urge the House and Senate to reconcile differences and pass bills that were left in limbo at the end of the session.

The letter is signed by:
The American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island
Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights
Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE)
Dorcas International Institute
Economic Progress Institute
Fuerza Laboral
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Mental Health Association of RI
Ministers Alliance of Rhode Island
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Progreso Latino
Religious Coalition for a Violence-Free Rhode Island
Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
RI Community Action Association
RI Council of Churches
RI Jobs with Justice
RI Racial Justice Coalition
RI Regional Adult Learning (RIRAL)
RI Working Families
Sierra Club, Rhode Island Chapter
Step Up Center International
United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP)