Make a Plan to Vote & Progress for RI Seniors! News from Alana
Hello Neighbor -
The Patriots might already be playing preseason games and the stores are full of back to school supplies, but summer isn't over yet!
This week I have information about a Candidate Forum in North Kingstown, how to join the RI Civics Readiness Task Force, how to submit public comment on short-term rental regulations, and a new heat pump incentive program up top, followed by the information you need about the upcoming Primary Election 09/13, my answers to some of the questions on people's minds this election season, and some highlights of the work we did for seniors this session in the General Assembly.
There are still a few weeks left to enjoy the public concerts, food truck nights, beach days, and cool ocean breezes that make summer in D36 so great, let's not let them go to waste!
Stay safe and stay cool,
Community Programs & Assistance
Students 4 Change NK Candidate Forum 08/13: I am looking forward to participating in the North Kingstown Students 4 Change Candidate Forum tomorrow at 4 at Allen Harbor Marina. Ask candidates running for NK School Committee, NK Town Council, State Rep District 31, District 32, and State Senate District 35, and District 36 any questions you would like about their platforms and ideas! This will be run in an organized forum by S4C with a moderator. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Apply to Join the RI Civics Readiness Task Force: Applications are now open to serve on the RI Civic Readiness Task Force! Following the passage of a bill requiring that all Rhode Island students receive Civics Education, the Rhode Island Department of Education is partnering with a broad array of stakeholders to establish a Civic Readiness Task Force that will consider specific measures to address civics education in the state. For more information, or if you or a colleague are interested in serving on the Civic Readiness Task Force, please visit www.ride.ri.gov/civics-task-force for details and the online application.
The application deadline is August 15, 2022 by 5:00PM ET.
For questions about the Civic Readiness Task Force, contact CivicsTaskForce@ride.ri.gov.
Public Comment on Short Term Rental Regulations is OPEN: Last year the General Assembly passed a bill requiring that short term rentals (e.g. AirBnBs, etc.) be registered with the Department of Business Regulation. DBR is now developing the specifics of that process, and is accepting public comment before they finalize the rules. Many people in D36 have been interested in this legislation so I wanted to share this information:
"Please be advised that the Department of Business Regulation has proposed to adopt a new regulation entitled, Short-Term Rental Property Registration, 230-RICR-30-20-4. Written comments on the proposed adoption should be submitted no later than August 27, 2022, by clicking on the “Comments” tab on the Secretary of State’s Website or by email to DBR.REInquiry@dbr.ri.gov."
The proposed regulation and notice of proposed rulemaking can be accessed by the links above.
High-Efficiency Heat Pump Program - Public Comment OPEN: Many homeowners (like me!) are choosing to install high-efficiency heat pumps in their homes for an energy and cost efficient way to heat and cool their homes. This year we funded an incentive program to help Rhode Islanders who are looking to make this switch. The Office of Energy Resources (OER) has the drafted $25 million High-Efficiency Heat Pump Program design for a 30-day stakeholder comment period. Here is the link if you'd like to give input on how this program will be implemented:https://energy.ri.gov/heating-cooling/high-efficiency-heat-pump-program
1. Rhode Island Primary Election 09/13: What You Need to Know The Primary Election on 09/13 will decide the candidates who will advance to the General Election in November for Treasurer, Secretary of State, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and many General Assembly and municipal seats (I don't have a Primary opponent, but there are others who do in our area!) Candidates are out on doors and at community events, take the chance to talk to them and hear what they have to say about the things that are important to you. If you want to vote by mail in the Primary you can apply for a Mail Ballot by 08/23, information here. Your Mail Ballot will be sent to you once your application is received, and you can complete it and return it either by mail or at one of the many Mail Ballot Drop Boxes (located at the Town Halls in NK, New Shoreham, and Narragansett, as well as other locations!) by the time polls close on 09/13 for it to count. You can also track the status of your application and ballot online at the Secretary of State's website. If you plan to vote Early, In Person you can do so starting Wednesday 08/24 at the Town Hall in the municipality where you live. Bring your ID, complete your ballot, and put it right into the machine just like on Election Day! If you plan to vote on Election Day, use this link to check your polling place (sometimes it's different for the Primary) and view a sample ballot so you can research your candidates before you go on 09/13.
2. ICYMI: My Candidate Profile in Go Local Providence Many local news outlets run profiles of candidates in their print and online publications so voters can get to know who is running to represent them and what their thoughts are on key issues. Go Local Providence recently published my responses to their questions, in case you missed it you can read it here. An excerpt:
What do we need to do to improve Rhode Island's economy?
To improve Rhode Island’s economy, we need to make sure it works for everyone. Digging into the recent analysis of how “Business Friendly” Rhode Island is compared to other states shows that where Rhode Island is lagging is in making our state worker-friendly. Businesses succeed when their workers can thrive here. If we continue to invest in building housing to bring costs down, improve our public transportation and walkable and bikeable infrastructure to compete with our neighboring states, make sure every child receives a high-quality education in a safe, modern school regardless of their zip code, support competitive wages in line with other New England States and invest in our child care and health care systems to ensure high quality and access, we will be a better place for workers to thrive and companies to do business, and our economy will benefit.
3. Support for Seniors Rhode Island should be a place where people can live, work, raise a family, and retire - a place that supports all stages of life. This session in the General Assembly we made some important progress in supporting our more than 185,000 seasoned Rhode Islanders. Some highlights:
Eliminating taxes on military pensions
Increasing funding by $500,000 for the Livable Home Modification Program, which helps people make the improvements necessary to stay in their homes safely as they age
Additional funding to support SNAP and Meals on Wheels services for seniors to ensure they have healthy food to eat
Home care rate increases so we have the needed workforce to keep seniors safe and healthy at home, and funding to support needed workforce for long term care facilities
Increased property tax relief for seniors
Thank you to the Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island for their continued and effective advocacy on behalf of aging Rhode Islanders! I look forward to continuing to work with them next session to make more progress in these areas.
Photo of the Week:
It was a beautiful night at Wickford Harbor Lights last night, so glad to stop by and support Lights of Hope with North Kingstown's Donna Holland and Natalie Shurtleff from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The General Assembly passed an important bill this session mandating coverage for biomarker testing for Rhode Islanders with cancer to help with more targeted treatment and better outcomes. Thank you to these women who helped advocate for this bill, I am looking forward to working with them again next session!