The Southern New England American Heart Association is working relentlessly throughout Rhode Island for longer, healthier lives throughout our region
As we turn the page on 2020 and welcome the New Year, the American Heart Association of Southern New England will be working with elected officials to prioritize the overall health and wellbeing of Rhode Islanders. The 2021 RI Legislative Session kicked off on January 5th – and the AHA is ready to promote a broad range of policies. The world around us has changed in countless ways, but our mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives is more important than ever.
Our top priorities for 2021 include:
- Ensuring adequate and appropriate enforcement of the Tobacco 21 law;
- Taxing electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products at a rate equal to the tax on cigarettes;
- Authorizing RI cities and towns to regulate the sale of tobacco products;
- Supporting investments in walking, biking, parks and outdoor recreation;
- Expanding access to early childhood care and education;
- Making certain that 911 operators are trained and ready to provide Telecommunicator-CPR instructions over the phone in the event of a medical emergency;
- Ensuring access to healthcare that is high quality, affordable and includes the benefits needed to prevent and treat heart disease and stroke;
- Ensuring continued access to clinically appropriate telehealth services; and
- Expanding access to water bottle filling stations in schools to ensure students have clean, potable water.
The good news is we are already seeing movement on some issues! In December, the long-awaited Fiscal Year 2021 State Budget was enacted. It was considered a “skinny budget” and there were no new taxes or programs. However, the budget DID contain several bond initiatives that will be put before voters during a special election in March, including millions of dollars for parks, outdoor recreation and early childhood care and education. We will be launching a campaign to get-out-the-vote for these important measures, so stay tuned!
To get regular updates and calls to action on our legislative proposals, join the AHA’s online grassroots network You’re the Cure at yourethecure.org!
Guest Author: Megan Tucker, Government Relations Director & Regional Lead, Southern New England American Heart Association
For Media Inquiries: Samantha Bowen; Samantha.Bowen@heart.org; 401-228-2324
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) heart.org and strokeassociation.org