Legislative Agenda 2023

Social Work Professional Practice

  • Loan Forgiveness: (H5521) (S224) Provides student loan repayment to social workers in the areas of highest need: working with older adults, children, vulnerable populations
  • Pay Equity for Clinical Social Workers: Increases reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers over a five-year period. Minimum increase per year would be 4%, resulting in a total increase of 23.4%.

Children and Families

  • Improve Child Mental Health by Increasing Access to School Social Workers:
    • Staffing: (H5396(S258) Requires all public schools in grades kindergarten through 12 to have at least one full-time licensed school social worker for every 250 students. Budget Request for Funding: Appropriates $2,000,000 for FY-2023 for school social workers. This appropriation is necessary to fund the ratio requirement.

Economic Justice and Housing

  • Payday Lending Reform: (H5160) (S175) Caps the interest rate on payday loans at 36%, down from 260%. 
  • Fair Chance Housing: (H5760Limits the use of certain criminal records and credit history reports in denying housing to prospective applicants, provides fines for failure to comply and requires notice of denials be sent to the prospective tenants.
  • Reduce Food Insecurity: (H5639(S68(S71) Requires free lunches to be provided for all elementary and secondary students attending public schools.
  • Equality in Abortion Coverage: (H5006 and S0032Provides for abortion coverage in the Medicaid program and repeal the abortion coverage exclusion for state employee insurance plans.

Health and Mental Health Care Access

  • Health Care Coverage for Clients: 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
  • The Promoting Access to Increased Mental Health Services For All Students Act: (H5010) Requires that services provided by school social workers and certified school psychologists be included as health care related services eligible for federal Medicaid reimbursement.

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 2023.