Legislative Agenda

Social Work Professional Practice

  1. Pay Equity for Clinical Social Workers: H7861 Increases reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers over a five year period. Minimum increase per year would be 4%, resulting in a total increase 23.4%.
  2. Social Work Licensing Equity: H7396 Legislation exempting MSW graduates from the licensing board exam for the LCSW license
  3. Health Care Coverage for Clients: S2080 : Requires individual health insurers, large group health insurers and small employer health insurers to provide coverage for 10 categories of essential health benefits not currently required to be covered by state law.

Economic and Racial Justice

  1. Reduce Food Insecurity: S2172 and H6665: Requires free lunches to be provided for all elementary and secondary students attending public schools
  2. Increase Affordable Housing Opportunities: H6638/S2340 -PROHIBITION OF SINGLE-FAMILY ZONING IN URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARIES ACT OF 2022: prohibit single-family residential zoning in municipalities with populations of over twenty thousand (20,000) and mandate that those municipalities adopt zoning regulations for middle housing in single-family residential zones.
  3. Limit Payday Lending: H7534/S2166
  4. Increase RI Works Benefit: Increase benefit to 50% of FPL, lifting children out of deep poverty, allow parent to attend 2 years post-secondary education, increase lifetime limit from 48-60 months

Children and Families

  1. Improve Access to School Social Workers:
    • Funding: H7546 Appropriates two million dollars ($2,000,000) for FY-2023 for school social workers.
    • Staffing:S2176 Requires all public schools in grades kindergarten through 12 to have at least one full-time licensed school social worker for every 400 students.
  2. Improve Early Childhood Support and Services:
    • The Rhode Island Early Childhood Innovation Act: H7340: Establishes the RI Early Childhood Innovation Act and authorizes the department of human services to fund programs for at-risk kindergarten children.

For more information on the NASW-RI Legislative Agenda, please be in touch with Executive Director, Rebekah Gewirtz at rgewirtz.naswma@socialworkers.org.

RI Statehouse

Our Policy and Advocacy Committee has worked long and hard to put together our Legislative Agenda for 2022.