Rhode Island, THANK YOU for your advocacy and outreach during the 2021 Legislative Session. The “virtual” session presented both challenges and opportunities. As we navigated the new process, the passion, dedication, and resolve of You’re the Cure advocates didn’t waver. This commitment to our mission is why we are celebrating several policy victories this year!
The following priorities were signed into law by Governor McKee:
- Lifesaving Telecommunicator-CPR (T-CPR) legislation that will require all operators at the state 911 center to be trained and certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch and prepared to provide CPR instruction over the phone in the event of a cardiac arrest.
- Tobacco 21 legislation that will ensure adequate and appropriate enforcement of the federal Tobacco 21 Law that raised the minimum legal sale age for all tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes) from 18 to 21. This legislation will make certain that retailers are held accountable for sales to youth and underage individuals – and that young people are not penalized for purchase, use and/or possession and instead get the help they need.
- Legislation that will require the installation of water bottle filling stations in newly constructed school buildings and those undergoing major renovations. This measure will increase water access for students, support healthy living, and reduce exposure to germs.
- Telemedicine legislation that will ensure continued coverage of telemedicine by Medicaid and private insurers post-pandemic. Telemedicine allows patients to connect with doctors through technology and receive medical opinions or even diagnosis and treatment using video and/or audio technology.
In addition to legislative wins, the AHA supported Questions 2 & 5 on the March 2021 Special Election Ballot. Both questions were approved by voters. Question 2 – The Beach, Clean Water, and Green Bond – will invest millions of dollars in parks and local recreation projects. Question 5 – The Early Childhood Care and Education Fund – will allocate $15 million for physical improvements to and development of licensed early childhood care and education facilities.
We extend sincere thanks to all the advocates, volunteers, coalition, and community partners that helped make these successes possible. Together we are building a healthier Ocean State!
Your RI Advocacy Committee will be busy over the summer as we prepare our policy agenda for 2022. In addition, we will monitor plans for the special legislative session this Fall to see if there are opportunities to move our priorities. Stay tuned!
Thank you again for all you do. Enjoy the rest of the summer!