Representative David Morales was first elected in 2020 to serve the people of District 7 in Providence's Mount Pleasant, Valley, and Elmhurst neighborhoods. He is a member of the House Education Committee, the House Innovation, Internet and Technology Committee, and the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee.
In the 2023 session, Representative Morales sponsored a new law capping the cost of specialty medications at $150 for a 30-day supply. These medications, used for treatment of cancer and other serious conditions, could previously cost patients as much as $2,500 per month. He also sponsored a law, part of a package of bills, to help prevent childhood lead poisoning by allowing tenants exposed to lead hazards to deposit their rent into a state authorized escrow account until sufficient repairs are made to their rental unit. During the budget process, Representative Morales helped secure funding for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, the state's public libraries, and public education, including significant increases for multilingual learners, special education students and high-poverty districts.
Throughout his time in the legislature, Representative Morales has sponsored laws banning tip theft; prohibiting employers from reporting, or threatening to report, an employee's immigration status for whistle blowing; and banning insurers from charging copayments for COVID-19 treatment and vaccinations. In 2022, his legislative proposal to ensure that all lower-income children, regardless of immigration status, qualify for health insurance under the state's RIte Track program was incorporated in the state budget. He has also cosponsored laws that cap the monthly cost of insulin at $40, classify the act of wage theft against workers as a felony, reduce plastic shopping bag use, prohibit housing discrimination based on one's source of income, legalize and regulate recreational cannabis, codify consumer protections in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) into state law, close loopholes so municipalities like Providence can fairly tax the commercial property of private universities, eliminate rental application fees for prospective tenants, prevent workers from being excluded from receiving overtime pay on Sundays and holidays, and establish a new 10-year program to replace all contaminated lead service lines free of cost for renters and homeowners.
Representative Morales' continued legislative efforts include measures to protect the rights of workers, prevent people from experiencing utility shut-offs, encourage multilingual education in public schools, and expand affordable health care, including legislation to establish a universal single-payer health care system in Rhode Island.
Born September 16, 1998, he was raised by a single immigrant mother in the rural town of Soledad, CA, alongside his older sister. He graduated from Soledad High School in 2016 and two years later he graduated from the University of California Irvine with a bachelor's in urban studies. In 2019, at age 20, he became the youngest graduate in the history of the Brown University Public Affairs master's program.
Representative Morales is a member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and is the youngest Latino ever elected to a state legislature. Inspired by his socioeconomic background and lived experience, he is a passionate advocate for public education, labor rights, and public benefit programs.
Representative Morales works at Year Up Rhode Island as an Employment Placement Manager. He resides in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.