August 2018
2018 Legislative Wrap-Up
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is pleased to share our 2018 Legislative Wrap-Up! This highlights legislative victories for children and summarizes selected laws and budget appropriations in the areas of economic well-being, child care and early childhood education, K-12 education, college access, health, and safety that were considered during the 2018 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly. We hope this is a helpful resource as you continue your work on behalf of Rhode Island's children and families.

Below is an overview of victories for Rhode Island children and families in the 2018 Legislative Session:

Early Learning & Development
  • The FY 2019 budget includes increased federal funding to improve access to high-quality child care in the Child Care Assistance Program.
  • The establishment of tiered quality child care rates of reimbursement for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children enrolled in centers through the Child Care Assistance Program (with rates meeting the federal benchmark for infants and toddlers).
  • State Pre-K received a $1.1 million increase to provide high-quality early education to four-year-olds.


  • A $250 million school construction, renovation, and rehabilitation bond was approved for the November 2018 ballot.
  • Education funding through the funding formula (including Pre-K) was increased.

Economic Well-Being 

  • Legislation passed that allows current and past recipients of DACA to obtain drivers licenses.


  • Legislation passed to extend Department of Children, Youth and Families services to youth in foster care up to age 21 (Voluntary Extension of Care).
  • Legislation passed that bans the possession of bump stocks, binary triggers, or trigger cranks; and a "Red Flag" bill passed that requires the surrender of all firearms from persons determined to be capable of causing personal injury.


  • Current RIte Care eligibility and benefits were preserved. Federal funding from the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was assumed in the budget. 
  • Legislation passed that prohibits advertising unhealthy food and beverage products in schools.
For the full listing of budget and legislative highlights,  please click here.