The good news outweighed the bad news this legislative session for the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women, according to its bi-monthly newsletter that was sent out today.
“Perhaps never before have so many activists taken to the streets and to the State House to support and oppose issues of deep concern to Rhode Island’s citizens,” the email newsletter said. “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.
Here’s how the progressive group that advocates for social justice and women’s issues scored the session:
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;
- The “Choose Life” license plate bill, which passed in the General Assembly was vetoed by Governor Chafee;
- Funding for 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 child care providers have won the right to negotiate with the state to improve the state’s child care system which serves low income families
The Bad News
- While great progress was made on 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.
RINOW is planning a post-session party on July 27 at India Restaurant on Hope Street. More info here.