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2/8/2018 Legislators commit to fight for 2018 ‘Fair Shot Agenda’
Coalition of representatives announce legislative package designed to give every Rhode Islander an opportunity to succeed
STATE HOUSE- Dozens of state representatives today committed to advocate for the 2018 “Fair Shot Agenda,” a set of four legislative solutions to address the growing gap between the wealthy and the middle class.

The 2018 Fair Shot Agenda includes:
●       Passing a budget that protects our neighbors
●       Investing in school facilities to ensure safe and appropriate schools for our young people
●       Creating pay equity and raising the minimum wage to $15 for all workers
●       Ensuring affordable long-term care and prescription drugs for seniors

“Everyone deserves a fair shot at a better future. But for too many Rhode Islanders, working hard and playing by the rules no longer guarantees security. We need bold state action to change that. It starts with a budget that protects our neighbors,” said Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence). “We are here to announce that, together, we will stand up against attempts to cut critical programs that our neighbors rely on and fight for investments in health care, housing, and education. Big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent just got a giant tax cut from Republicans in Congress. We’re committed to using state policy to tilt the scales back toward everyday people.”

This collective push follows last year’s successful work in passing a legislative package designed to level the playing field for working families. Several items on the 2017 Fair Shot Agenda were passed into law, including legislation to guarantee earned sick days for Rhode Island workers.

One item returning to the agenda is increased investments in school facilities.

“For our children to thrive and succeed, their schools must be safe, warm and suitable for learning,” said Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence). “Too many of our schools are leaky, moldy and not appropriately weatherized. It’s critical that we pass the school facilities bond proposal this year so that we can ensure that every child can learn and grow in an appropriate environment.”

Advocates recently announced a campaign to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and close the wage gap by clarifying and strengthening existing equal pay protections.

“For Rhode Island to move forward, we must increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and ensure that everyone is paid fairly for their hard work,” said Rep. Susan Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth). “Rhode Island women working full time still make only 87 cents to the dollar that their male counterparts make, and it’s worse for women of color. Raising wages and standards for workers is key to ensuring everyone has a fair shot, because we all do better when we do better.”

“Our families need affordable, accessible long-term care options to allow their loved ones to age in dignity,” said Rep. Lauren Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport). “Seniors and people living with disabilities deserve high-quality care. We’re calling on state leaders to improve our home care system while ensuring that home care workers are treated fairly. And we’re also calling for the passage of legislation to bring the cost of prescription drugs down so that no one has to choose between their medication and other essentials.”

The representatives who gathered for a State House event launching the 2018 Fair Shot Agenda committed to working together to advocate for each of its four policy proposals over the coming months.

Among the legislators supporting the package are Rep. Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Rep. Joseph S. Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence), Representative Amore, Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), Rep. David E. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston), Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Representative Carson, Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter), Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown), Rep. Helder J. Cunha (D-Dist. 64, East Providence), Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Representative Donovan, Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston), Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown), Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston), Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence), Rep. Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren), Rep. John J. Lombardi (D-Dist. 8, Providence), Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett), Rep. Michael A.  Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket), Rep. Jeremiah T. O’Grady (D-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket), Rep. Ramon A. Perez (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston), Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Representative Regunberg, Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick), Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett), Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick), Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) and Rep. Moira J. Walsh (D-Dist. 3, Providence).

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923