The Southern New England American Heart Association is working relentlessly throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, for longer, healthier lives throughout our region
In Rhode Island, we are still waiting General Assembly action on the current year’s budget and hope that our priorities will be included. In the meantime, your Rhode Island Advocacy Committee is busy preparing for the 2021 Legislative Session that kicks off in January! We will promote policies related to increasing access to healthy foods & opportunities for physical activity; addressing the epidemic of tobacco and electronic cigarette use among youth; requiring Telecommunicator-CPR at the state 9-1-1 center; and, investing in health equity and early childhood care and education. Stay tuned for details!
In other news, Megan Tucker, Government Relations Director & Regional Lead, recently participated in a virtual panel discussion hosted by Rhode Island Kids Count (RIKC) to release RIKC’s latest fact sheets that help raise awareness of and address the continued epidemic of tobacco and e-cigarette use and addiction among youth. Tucker discussed policy interventions that would be needed to curb the epidemic. The fact sheets and a recording are available at rikidscount.org.
Guest Author: Megan Tucker, Government Relations Director & Regional Lead
In Massachusetts, we are currently finishing our 2019-2020 Legislative Session. We are still working to get the Stroke Systems of Care Legislation over the finish line and hope to report back before the end of the year on it! In addition, we were able to secure significant funding for critical access and expansion for childcare across the Commonwealth, including $36M for emergency childcare workers and providers, $46.5M in CARES Act funding to support subsidized childcare, and a $25M grant program for early education and care provides.
The state also received a grant for clean and safe drinking water, including $6.2 million for the Boston Public Schools to install 1400 water filling stations. We also secured an increase of $13 million for our SNAP Healthy Incentive Program and $500,000 for the STOP Stroke Program.
Guest Author: Allyson Perron Drag, Government Relations Director