PROVIDENCE, RI – Following a unanimous vote by the House and Senate, Governor Dan McKee was joined by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio to sign RI Rebounds, the Governor's plan to invest $119 million in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds in Rhode Island's children, families, workers, housing and small businesses.
"Today, we move forward with a crucial investment in Rhode Island's future," said Governor McKee. "RI Rebounds directs federal funding where it is needed most – to children, families, workers, housing and small businesses. I thank the Speaker and Senate President for their partnership and commitment to making this plan a reality. I look forward to working together to further our recovery and make Rhode Island a more prosperous and equitable state for all."
The Governor's original RI Rebounds plan, submitted to the legislature for approval in October, proposed $113 million to bolster Rhode Island's recovery. The proposal included $38.5 million to support children, families, and social supports; $32 million to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19; $29.5 million to promote affordable housing, housing stability supports and broadband; and $13 million for hard-hit tourism, hospitality and event industries. At a joint announcement in December, the Governor, Speaker and Senate President announced that the legislature would add an additional $6 million to support child care, bringing the plan's total investment to $119 million.
"The House has been collaboratively working with the Senate and Governor McKee for several months to ensure that the ARPA funding is spent wisely and invested in a long-term sustainable manner," House Speaker Shekarchi said. "After several hearings, our House Finance Committee will soon consider an initial investment of $119 million for affordable housing, children's and family services, child care, and assistance for small businesses and the tourism and hospitality industries. In addition, after listening closely to the members of our House Democratic Caucus, we successfully came to an agreement with the Governor to immediately invest more than $3 million in CARES Act dollars to support critical Early Intervention services. I am also pleased to join in the announcement of $57.4 million of federal medical assistance funding to support thousands of home and community-based direct care workers."
Senate President Ruggerio said, "I want to thank Governor Daniel McKee and Speaker Joseph Shekarchi for working collaboratively with the Senate throughout this process. I am very grateful to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Pearson and the dedicated members of the Finance Committee, who met for more than 28 hours over the course of the fall to review federal relief spending plans. Child care is a top priority for the Senate, and the revised ARPA plan will add $6 million on top of the $13 million the Governor had proposed. Leader McCaffrey and I are among those who have attended roundtable discussions with child care providers across the state this fall. This is critically important. The industry is in crisis, and we can't get people back to work if they can't get child care."
"This investment is an essential step towards reenergizing our local communities and small businesses by targeting areas where they are needed most: such as affordable housing and accessible childcare," said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. "These funds will go a long way towards helping families get back to work and helping small business owners keep their doors open."