Herb Weiss covered the proposed state budget in an article for rinewstoday.com In it, he highlights that Governor Dan McKee has initiated the legislative debate on Rhode Island’s $13.68 billion FY 2025 Budget in his State of the State address. The proposed budget focuses on investments in education, small businesses, and healthcare without increasing broad-based taxes. Legislative leaders express their priorities and highlight areas such as universal pre-kindergarten, language learner funding, and no-cost meals for students.
Aging groups and advocates share their thoughts on the budget, acknowledging attention to older adults’ financial security, but some call for additional funding. The budget addresses issues in nursing homes with a $10 million stopgap fund and includes rate increases for assisted living and adult day providers. AARP Rhode Island supports the budget’s goal of increasing financial security and urges the legislature to pass measures for retirement savings, eliminating state tax on Social Security benefits, and promoting accessible dwelling units for seniors.
However, critics argue that the budget doesn’t adequately address the scope of needs that older adults have, pointing out the lack of relief beyond a proposed tax reduction for pension and annuity income. Concerns include the state’s taxation of Social Security benefits, frozen pensions since 2011, and a perceived neglect of seniors in the budget. A coalition emphasizes the importance of concrete mechanisms to ensure funding in nursing homes benefits frontline caregivers and addresses long-term care issues. Read the full article HERE