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6/9/2023 Senate leaders commend addition of early learning funds
STATE HOUSE, Providence – Senate leaders are praising the inclusion of a budget amendment providing an additional $7 million in support for early learning programs that was just adopted on the House floor.
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio said, “I have been proud to work with Speaker Joseph Shekarchi throughout this year’s budget process to help develop a responsible spending plan that serves Rhode Islanders and makes critical investments in our state’s future. From funding the tangible tax exemption, to increasing overall education aid by $52.6 million and establishment of the Hope Scholarship at Rhode Island College, the budget includes many Senate priorities. I am especially pleased that additional, necessary funding for early childhood education has been included above and beyond the restorations to the budget approved by the House Finance Committee.”
Added Majority Leader Ryan W. Pearson: “Improving early childhood education is a priority for many members of the Senate. I particularly want to acknowledge the hard work of President Ruggerio, President Pro Tempore Hanna Gallo, Education Committee Chairwoman Sandra Cano, and Environment & Agriculture Chairwoman Alana DiMario on child care and early childhood education, as well as Finance Committee Chairman DiPalma, and all of our partners in the House.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Louis DiPalma said, “Access to quality early childhood education helps to close achievement gaps and lays the foundation for a lifetime of success. That is why it has been so important to us in the Senate to expand access to early childhood education. I am very pleased with the funding that has been added to help ensure all Rhode Island families can access quality early learning programs.”
The budget bill was amended on the House floor today to add $3 million for Head Start and Early Head start seats and $4 million for a pilot program to expand eligibility for child care.

For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Director of Communications for the Senate
State House Room 112
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5558