2019 Legislative Wrap-Up

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is pleased to share our 2019 Legislative Wrap-Up ! This highlights legislative victories for children and summarizes selected laws and budget appropriations in the areas of economic well-being, early learning and development, education, health, and safety that were considered during the 2019 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 2019 Legislative Session:

Economic Well-Being
  • The state’s 24-month periodic time limit for the Rhode Island Works program was repealed.
  • The FY 2020 budget includes $500,000 to ensure that the state conducts the outreach needed to have an accurate and complete count in the 2020 Census.

Early Learning & Development
  • $8.6 million increase in state general revenue funds to add approximately 320 new seats and sustain existing Rhode Island State Pre-K classrooms after federal funding expires.
  • Infants and toddlers enrolled in family child care were added to the state’s tiered quality rates system for the Child Care Assistance Program, paying higher rates for higher quality care.
  • Policies were changed in statute to streamline family access and improve payment policies for the Child Care Assistance Program.

  • A $2.3 million increase in funding to support the needs of English learners.
  • $250,000 in funding to support reading instruction for students with dyslexia.
  • A series of education reform bills were passed to address the state’s poor performance on the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System.

  • Current RIte Care eligibility and benefits were preserved.
  • Feminine hygiene products will be exempt from the sales and use tax.

  • Legislation passed to expand domestic abuse protections.
  • Legislation passed to expand the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse to 35 years after reaching adulthood.