RI PBS - The Fix: Examining Rhode Island's Opioid Epidemic
STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved two bills aimed at creating innovative programs to use Medicaid funds to provide housing and other services to the homeless to provide stability in their lives and reduce expenses related to the overuse of emergency rooms.
“Housing the homeless might be one of the most effective and efficient investments we can make for public health. People who are homeless struggle to care for their health because their daily efforts to find shelter take precedence over activities like health maintenance. Getting people into housing removes that burden and allows for the freedom to get connected with programs and employment opportunities, while directly engaging in the most effective preventative care mechanism we have, a roof. Quite simply, medical care is less expensive when aligned with supportive housing,” said Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), who is the sponsor of one of the bills. In 2013, he co-chaired a Senate commission that studied ways to divert those seeking treatment for behavioral health issues away from emergency rooms and into more appropriate and less-costly treatment settings.
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Joshua Miller has introduced legislation to help Rhode Island reach its renewable energy goals by requiring developers of new fossil fuel-burning power plants to also invest in renewable energy.
The legislation (2018-S 2508) would require any applicant to the Energy Facilities Siting Board who seeks to build a power plant that uses fossil fuel as its primary or secondary fuel to also build or invest in renewable energy generation in Rhode Island. The cost of construction or investment must be equal to at least 20 percent of the cost of the fossil fuel facility. Alternatively, the developer could pay an amount equal to at least 25 percent of the fossil fuel facility’s cost to the state’s Renewable Energy Development Fund.
STATE HOUSE – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has scheduled votes on several bills tomorrow, including one that would prohibit minors from using tanning facilities.
The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:30 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State House.
STATE HOUSE – An event has been scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 3:30 p.m. in the State House rotunda during which members of the House and the Senate can sign on as cosponsors of legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Rhode Island. The bills’ primary sponsors will be Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and Rep. Jason Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren). Members of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence will participate. The media is invited.
STATE HOUSE – Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller has reintroduced legislation that would launch a pilot program testing the effectiveness of using Medicaid waiver funds to treat chronic homelessness.
Senator Miller’s proposal (2018-S 2129), called the Rhode Island Pathways Project, will be heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services today at the rise of Senate session.
Sen. Joshua Miller joined Gov. Gina M. Raimondo today joined university, state and local leaders in the opening and ceremonial ribbon cutting of South Street Landing.
The former South Street Power Station facility now houses 265,000 square-feet of academic and office space occupied by the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center and Brown University. Started in 2013, the project was intended to serve as a catalyst for economic development in Providence's Jewelry District adjacent to the former I-195 land.
"As owner of a small business just across the river, a state senator, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, I see the many benefits of the new South Street Landing facility from many perspectives. It will promote economic development in the neighborhood. It leveraged state funds for private investment in our state's future. And it will house the highest quality training for a necessary healthcare workforce," said Senator Joshua Miller.