WHERE I STAND
for District 31
"As your elected state representative, it's important that I hear from you so that your values and priorities are reflected in my legislative actions. Please reach out to me at any time with your questions or concerns and I'll get back to you immediately."
Recognition from Coalition for Children and Families
I am truly humbled to be recognized as a Legislative Champion by the Coalition for Children and Families for the new law I sponsored called the "Foster Youth Academic Progress Act." It directs school superintendents to create an annual report on the academic progress of foster care youth.
Along with my Senate colleague, we organized a drive resulting in 425 pairs of pajamas donated to Foster Forward to be given to Rhode Island children in foster care for the 2021 holidays.
I was also grateful to be chosen as the 2021 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Honoree. Congressman Langevin nominated me for my work in the adoption, foster care and child welfare community.
Advocating for an Improved Quality of Life
It has been a very busy legislative session, and I've been advocating on behalf of several bills to improve the quality of life for Rhode Islanders. These include:
Charing the legislative commission to develop long-term funding solutions for the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College
Fighting to eliminate the state income tax on veterans' pensions
Vote in favor of a bill to expand access to voting, which especially helps seniors and the disabled
Creating a legislative commission to undertake a comprehensive study on the effects of hybrid and virtual learning on the achievement rates of children in grades K-12
My legislation requiring the collection of data on childhood cancer was approved in the House of Representatives
The House passed my bill to require DCYF to determine the military status of the parents of any abused child and report the matter to appropriate military authorities
Fighting to Take Care of Our Most Vulnerable
Our health care system is suffering a crisis of care that's only worsened due to the pandemic. Our system is understaffed and under-supported, and it is hurting our residents, particularly the most vulnerable. Many human services workers are leaving the state.
That is why I have sponsored legislation to provide proper oversight of the Medicaid rate-setting process and appropriate reimbursement rate increases that accurately reflect the high-level of care and dedication to provide to our residents.
In addition, I was proud to support minimum, safe staffing levels and standards for quality of care for nursing homes and their residents.
I also advocated strongly for an additional $10 million in the current state budget for DCYF to increase staffing levels to assist our children and families. And I'm fighting to make the Department of Human Services more responsive to the needs of our most vulnerable .
Helping Constituents, Worthy Causes in District
Legislation I sponsored in 2017 made it easier for the General Treasurer to return unclaimed money and property to Rhode Islanders. Since then, I have held annual events to help North Kingstown and Exeter residents obtain these unclaimed assets.
In addition, I have secured much-needed funding for important local organizations: North Kingstown Fire Department, Forest Park Elementary PTO, North Kingstown/Exeter Animal Protection, Stony Lane Elementary School, Exeter Department of Social Services, and the Center for Mediation & Collaboration