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McKee, Shekarchi, Ruggerio Announce $119M RI Rebounds Plan

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Gov. Dan McKee, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio today announced the legislature’s commitment to act on the Governor’s $119 million RI Rebounds proposal Monday.

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. McKee, Shekarchi and Ruggerio  also pledged an additional $6 million to address growing child care needs.
The measure represents 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. The Governor 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.”

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.
Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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