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2013 Legislative Summary

RI NOW testified or submitted written testimony on close to 40 bills covering diverse topics including women's health, marriage equality, economic equity, ending violence against women, and more. We lobbied members of the General Assembly and activated our members and allies through lobby days and online action alerts. THANK YOU to all who helped in our efforts. View more information about our 2014 priority bills here.

The Good News

  • Rhode Island passed Marriage Equality for all!
  • Temporary Caregivers Insurance will allow workers to take time off from work to care for a family member without risking financial ruin;
  • Numerous bills were stopped that would have limited a woman's access to reproductive health care services;
  • While the "Choose Life" license plate bill made it through the General Assembly, it was vetoed by Governor Chafee;
  • Funding for the Court Advocate Program that serves victims of domestic violence was restored;
  • Child care assistance was expanded so that women don't have to lose their child care simply by taking a modest raise or promotion;
  • Minimum wage workers, two thirds of whom are women, will see the minimum wage rise to $8 in 2014;
  • Home-based childcare providers have won the right to negotiate with the state to elevate their profession and improve the state's childcare system, which serves low income families.

The Bad News

  • While it seemed that progress was being made toward eliminating gender rating in health insurance and expanding family planning services for low income women, we fell short of the support needed to get these through;
  • We made progress but fell short of the support we needed to create a dedicated funding stream for violence prevention through increased marriage license fees;
  • Although we advocated strongly against gender specific events in schools along with a coalition of partner organizations, the legislation to allow for "father/daughter" dances managed to pass the General Assembly and become law without the Governor's signature.