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12/6/2021 Speaker Shekarchi, Senate President Ruggerio, Governor McKee announce legislature’s commitment to act on governor’s RI Rebounds plan for initial, near-term American Rescue Plan spending
Leaders announce millions in additional funding to support critical human services needs

PROVIDENCE, RI –  House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and Governor Dan McKee today announced the legislature’s commitment to act on the governor’s RI Rebounds proposal, an initial investment of 10 percent of the state’s $1.13 billion American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds to make a down payment on Rhode Island’s recovery. They also announced tens of millions of dollars in additional federal funding to support home- and community-based services and the state’s Early Intervention program for children with developmental needs.
“Today, we are making a crucial investment in Rhode Island’s recovery,” said Governor McKee. “Our Administration is committed to delivering support for home- and community-based direct care workers and ensuring that children with developmental needs receive the services they need. I also thank the Speaker and the Senate President for their partnership and their commitment to act on our RI Rebounds plan which will provide much-needed relief for children, families, housing, and small businesses. This is an important step – we must keep going.”
“I want to thank Governor Dan McKee, Speaker Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggiero for moving Rhode Island’s recovery forward by acting on the RI Rebounds Proposal,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. “This investment is essential to addressing the needs of our unhoused residents, the creation of much needed affordable housing, providing crucial resources for small businesses, child care for our working families, long term care and strengthening our workforce. I look forward to working together to build a stronger Rhode Island.”
Acting on RI Rebounds and Protecting Rhode Island’s Recovery
The Speaker and Senate President announced the legislature’s commitment to act on the Governor’s RI Rebounds Proposal, bringing it to a vote in the finance committees next week.
The Governor’s original RI Rebounds proposal, submitted to the legislature for approval in October, invests $113 million to jumpstart Rhode Island’s recovery. The proposal includes $38.5 million to support children, families, and social supports; $32 million to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19; $29.5 million to promote affordable housing, housing stability supports and broadband; and $13 million for hard-hit tourism, hospitality and event industries.
The Governor, Speaker and Senate President also pledged to add an additional $6 million to address growing child care needs.
“The House has been collaboratively working with the Senate and Governor McKee for several months to ensure that the ARPA funding is spent wisely and invested in a long-term sustainable manner,” House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said. “After several hearings, our House Finance Committee will soon consider an initial investment of $119 million for affordable housing, children’s and family services, child care, and assistance for small businesses and the tourism and hospitality industries. In addition, after listening closely to the members of our House Democratic Caucus, we successfully came to an agreement with the Governor to immediately invest more than $3 million in CARES Act dollars to support critical Early Intervention services. I am also pleased to join in the announcement of $57.4 million of federal medical assistance funding to support thousands of home and community-based direct care workers.”
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio said, “I want to thank Governor Daniel McKee and Speaker Joseph Shekarchi for working collaboratively with the Senate throughout this process. I am very grateful to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Pearson and the dedicated members of the Finance Committee, who met for more than 28 hours over the course of the fall to review federal relief spending plans. Child care is a top priority for the Senate, and the revised ARPA plan will add $6 million on top of the $13 million the Governor had proposed. Leader McCaffrey and I are among those who have attended roundtable discussions with child care providers across the state this fall. This is critically important. The industry is in crisis, and we can’t get people back to work if they can’t get child care.”
Investing in Home and Community Based Services
The Governor announced that he will direct $57.4 million in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding for workforce related investments which will provide support to nearly 4,500 home- and community-based services direct care workers. These funds are the result of a 10 percentage point federal match FMAP increase for all state spending on home- and community-based services that was included in the American Rescue Plan.
Providers will allocate 85 percent of funding to direct care workers in the form of hiring bonuses, increased hourly wages, enhanced benefits, shift differentials, wrap around benefits and training or support.
Long Term Services and Supports Recruitment and Retention Temporary Rate Program ($33.9 million): Eligible providers include Home Health agencies, Adult Day Care Centers, HabGroup Homes, PACE workers, Independent Provider and Personal Choice PCAs.
Behavioral Health Recruitment and Retention Program ($22.4 million): Eligible providers include Community Mental Health Centers, Certified Peer Navigator Agencies, Substance Use Disorder Rehab programs and Opioid Treatment programs and Children’s HBTS/PASS providers.
$1 million will be allocated to support administrative needs including program design, rate setting, reporting and compliance.
Making Critical Investments in Early Intervention
The Governor announced $3.64 million in CARES Act funds to support Early Intervention which provides essential early childhood development services that support healthy outcomes for children across Rhode Island. This investment is in addition to the $5.5 million for Early Intervention that the Governor included in his RI Rebounds plan. Funds will be used to assist Early Intervention providers in mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic, recruiting and retaining workers, avoiding further closures, and providing continued services to children with developmental needs.
Due to the pandemic, Early Intervention providers faced significant losses because of the current rates, and today are struggling to hire and retain the staff needed to provide services to all children needing Early Intervention programming.
“Today marks a crucial step towards equity,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones. “Our health and human service workers care for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable – and deserve to be compensated for the amazing work they do each and every day. The industry has been underfunded – since well before the pandemic – and these investments towards our children, families, and social supports will go a long way as we recover. I am grateful for our Governor’s leadership and for the General Assembly’s support of these proposals.”
“Ours is the strongest economic recovery in the nation, according to Moody’s Analytics. However, as is true across the country, it’s an uneven recovery. Funding from this package will offer additional assistance to our state’s small businesses, too many of which are still struggling as we emerge from the COVID crisis,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “Importantly, this package will also provide additional resources to address the issues of housing and homelessness. We thank Governor McKee, Speaker Shekarchi, and Senate President Ruggerio for turning this down payment proposal into a reality.”

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923