Issue Experts

Divya Nair
About this issue

Health care and child care have become too expensive for many Rhode Island families

Rhode Islanders deserve affordable accessible health care. Unfortunately, in Rhode Island, family health insurance costs have risen five times faster than earnings and many families, elders, and disabled Rhode Islanders struggle to keep up with out-of-pocket costs. We must health care more accessible and affordable so Rhode Islanders won’t have to delay seeing a doctor or forgo vital medication when they are sick.

Similarly, child care and early education are essential for a thriving workforce and a fully-functioning economy. However, the early care and education workforce is struggling to make ends meet and our families are struggling to find affordable child care. Rhode Island needs to invest in our children and families so that all working families can have high-quality, accessible childcare and early education

2024 Full Legislative Agenda
2024 Priorities

Legislative Agenda

Child Care

Expand eligibility for Rl's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP); end the child support mandate for CCAP eligibility; and increase provider rates for childcare programs to address the staffing and wage crisis in this sector.

Baby Bonds

Create a Rhode Island Baby Bond Trust to provide every child whose birth is covered by Medicaid, or no insurance, with a $3,000 investment at birth; the state will invest the money until the child turns eighteen and yield approximately $12,000 for the child to use for wealth-building purposes such as education, buying a home in RI, starting a business in RI, or for retirement savings.

Health Care

Provide adequate Medicaid funds to address workforce shortages in behavioral health, home & community-based long-term care, and primary care; increase eligibility for the state's Medicare Savings Programs; and fully fund the ombuds program to protect access to coverage for Medicare-Medicaid dual eligible Rhode Islanders.

More Resources

Explore Coalitions and Programs Related to this Issue

Browse more resources on how we're helping to expand economic security and opportunity for workers and families across Rhode Island.

For more, check out our Ways to Take Action page to find out how you can help address this issue.

Coalition for a Multilingual Rhode Island

Coalition for a Multilingual Rhode Island is a coaltion of organizations and community members dedicated to creating a culturally sustaining educational environment where all Rhode Island students learn in multiple languages from Pre-K to college.

Equity Impact Campaign

The Rhode Island Equity Impact Campaign is comprised of advocacy, philanthropic, faith, and community groups that have come together to ensure that policies, programs, and the state budget correct historic disparities and advance equity-centered policies to make Rhode Island a place where all residents can thrive.

Immigrant Coalition of Rhode Island

The Immigrant Coalition of Rhode Island is an association of 33 organizations committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment of our immigrant neighbors.


The Let RI Vote for Same Day Registration campaign is a project of the Rhode Island Voting Access Coalition. The coalition is a collection of community groups and other organizations working to advance the cause of voting rights in Rhode Island

Protect Our Healthcare Coalition

The Protect Our Healthcare Coalition is a group of leading Rhode Island consumer and non-profit service organizations as well as hundreds of individuals working to protect access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Rhode Islanders.

Raise the Bar Coalition

Rhode Island has a nursing home staffing crisis that far predated the pandemic. The Raise the Bar coalition strives to achieve safe staffing and quality resident care. Each day; Raise the Bar continues its work to make sure that every nursing home resident and caregiver can live with dignity, respect and safety.

Raising Rhode Island

The Raising RI Coalition is dedicated to lifting children out of poverty by increasing the RI Works benefit and to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing parents with education and training opportunities leading to well-paying, secure jobs. RI Works is the state’s cash assistance program for children and their parents or caregivers and a work preparation program for the adults.

Revenue for Rhode Islanders

Revenue for Rhode Islanders is a campaign to raise much-needed revenue for Rhode Island by ensuring the top 1% of earners contribute their fair share.

The revenue raised through this legislation will be used to fund vital programs and services that impact all Rhode Island families – like public education, infrastructure improvements, better care for our seniors and individuals with developmental disabilities, and much more.

Rhode Island Coalition for Payday Lending Reform

The Rhode Island Coalition for Payday Lending Reform brings together advocates and individuals who seek to end predatory lending in Rhode Island. The coalition aims to make storefront payday lenders follow the same rules as other small dollar loan lenders and charge annual interest rates no higher than 36% instead of the 260% rate they are able to charge due to a special carve-out in Rhode Island law that exempts them from the normal rules.

The Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty

The coalition serves as a faith-based voice on systemic issues that underlie poverty. They are an advocate for sound legislation and public policies that address the causes of poverty and that promote economic well-being for all Rhode Islanders.

Rhode Island Workforce Alliance

The Economic Progress Institute coordinates the Alliance, a partnership among adult education and workforce training providers, business, labor, philanthropic organizations and other community leaders dedicated to ensuring that our state has a dynamic and comprehensive workforce development system that meets the needs of employers and workers, especially those with low skills.

RI Paid Leave Coalition

Rhode Island workers need paid family leave in order to take care of and/or bond with their loved ones. Get involved in our paid family leave campaign!

RIght From the Start

RIght from the Start is a legislative and state budget campaign to advance policies for young children and their families in Rhode Island. While Rhode Island has much to offer, the reality is too many families struggle to support their young children during the critical early years of brain development. Similarly, early educators and the child care industry have not received the support they need as an essential service industry.

Additionally, we need to support Rhode Island workers with benefits like paid family leave in order for them to care and/or bond with a newborn child or take care their loved ones.

Voices for Better Health

The Affordable Care Act has launched initiatives to allow states to develop innovative demonstration projects to provide better coordinated, comprehensive, high quality care to dual eligibles. Community Catalyst has a long history of working to improve systems of care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Building on that experience, the Voices for Better Health program is partnering with state and local advocates in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island to shape the design and implementation of these initiatives so they best serve the needs of this unique population.


EARN is a nationwide network of research, policy, and advocacy organizations fighting, state by state, for an economy that works for everyone.

Family Values @ Work

Family Values @ Work is a movement network of grassroots organizers and coalitions in more than two dozen states working toward economic, racial and gender justice. We have built power in key states and localities focused on winning policies that support workers and families including paid family and medical leave, earned sick and safe days, and affordable, high-quality childcare at the state and national levels.

State Priorities Partnership

The fight for a just and equitable America is under way in the states, and the State Priorities Partnership – a network of more than 40 independent, nonprofit research and policy organizations – is leading the way.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonpartisan research and policy institute that advances federal and state policies to help build a nation where everyone — regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ZIP code, immigration status, or disability status — has the resources they need to thrive and share in the nation’s prosperity.

Center for Responsible Lending

The Center for Responsible Lending is a non-partisan, nonprofit research and policy advocacy organization working to promote financial fairness and economic opportunity for all, end predatory lending, and close the racial wealth gap.

Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan tax policy organization. They conduct rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provide data-driven recommendations to shape equitable and sustainable tax systems.

Institute for Women's Policy Research

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that engages in research and dissemination to shape public policy and improve the lives and opportunities of women from diverse backgrounds.

National Women's Law Center

The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls.

National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to make life better for women and families.

Prosperity NOW

Prosperity Now, is working daily to transform current systems, practices and policies in service of an economy that works for everyone.

State Revenue Alliance

State Revenue Alliance unites state-based community groups, policy advocates, and labor organizations and helps them build winning coalition campaigns that aim to stop the drain on our communities and fully fund our futures.

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Together, we can advance policy solutions for all Rhode Islanders that will create good job opportunities, a safe place to live, adequate food, and affordable health care.