Joshua Miller is a Democrat representing District 28 (Cranston, Providence) in the Rhode Island Senate.
First elected to the Senate in November 2006, he has been particularly active in health care reform efforts, as well as environmental initiatives. He chairs the Committee on Health & Human Services and previously served as chairman of the Committee on Corporations, now known as the Committee on Commerce.
Sen. Miller has been involved in legislative efforts to make health insurance more affordable to ratepayers and employers, and sponsored a bill that successfully eliminated health status as a factor in insurance rates. He sponsored the far reaching legislation to control health care costs, increase transparency, and improve quality, including provisions to establish standards and incentives for transitioning from traditional fee-for-service payments to alternative models.
Sen. Miller was a driving force behind enactment of legislation providing parity in coverage of mental health and substance use disorders. He championed a package of legislation addressing the mental health system, aimed at improving preventative services and treatment, as well as a package of legislation addressing the opioid overdose crisis. Recently, he sponsored legislation to establish a pilot program for harm reduction centers in Rhode Island. That measure was signed into law.
He was a member of the Governor's Overdose Commission and the Governor's Reinventing Medicaid Task Force. He has also served as Chairman of the Special Commission to Study Health Plan Patient Liability Provisions on Access to Healthcare and Provider Financial Condition, and the Special Senate Commission to Study the Challenges Facing Commercial Development and the Redevelopment of Historic Buildings in Rhode Island. He previously served as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Commission to Study the Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health and the Special Legislative Commission to Study Building Structured Parking at the Garrahy Judicial Complex.
Sen. Miller chaired commissions reviewing the prospect of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. He sponsored the law, enacted in 2011, decriminalizing possession of small quantities of marijuana, and has since sponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana in the state.
Sen. Miller has been honored by Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RI CARES) for his frequent advocacy for treatment for those struggling with addiction, as well as the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
He has sponsored legislation to enact the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act on the state level to ensure the protection of Rhode Islanders health care. He has proposed using Medicaid funds to provide housing services to the chronically homeless.
In 2019, the Rhode Island Health Center Association honored Sen. Miller with its John H. Chafee Healthcare Leadership Award. The award recognizes an individual, group or organization whose work embodies the spirit of the late U.S. Sen. John H. Chafee, demonstrating his commitment to strengthening the health care safety net and providing true justice and equity in health care for all.
Sen. Miller has also sponsored legislation to ban the possession, sale or transfer of assault weapons except those grandfathered in and properly registered, as well as a measure banning “straw purchases" of firearms.
Sen. Miller is a graduate of Hope High School and the University of Rhode Island. He and his wife, Nancy, live in the Edgewood section of Cranston. Their son, Nicholas, attends Yale University.
The owner and operator of several Providence restaurants, he is past president of the Providence Downtown Merchants Association. He has served on the boards of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism Association. He has also served on a number of nonprofit boards and in local community organizations.