Economic Progress Institute Conference A Worker’s Agenda for Rhode Island

Approximately 200 people attended The Economic Progress Institute’s annual
Policy and Budget Conference, Rhode to Economic Progress: An Agenda for Workers. Each year,
the Institute hosts a half-day conference to educate policymakers, community
leaders, and interested residents about the critical policy challenges and
opportunities facing Rhode Island. This year’s conference focused on
policies that improve economic conditions for workers in the Ocean State.

The conference was kicked off by Governor Gina Raimondo and Senate President
M. Teresa Paiva Weed who discussed the importance of investing in Rhode
Island’s workforce.

Sarita Gupta, the keynote speaker gave conference attendees the national
picture of a worker’s agenda, outlining the national campaigns to increase
the federal minimum wage and improve conditions for retail workers. Ms.
Gupta, the executive director of Jobs with Justice and co-director of Caring
Across Generations is a nationally recognized expert on economic and labor
issues affecting working people across low-wage sectors. She has appeared in
the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Politico, and Fox News.

Doug Hall, the Institute’s Director of Economic and Fiscal Policy,
highlighted the need for a Workers’ Agenda for Rhode Island and discussed
some of the legislative gains Rhode Island workers have made over the past
several years. Following Doug were a group of Rhode Island panelists who
discussed current legislative proposals to improve economic security for
workers. Among them are:

. Improving Child Care Assistance

. Increasing the Rhode Island Earned Income Tax Credit

. Allowing Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Workers

. Allowing Earned Sick Leave

. Protection from Wage Theft

. Protecting Sunday/Holiday Pay

. Expanding Temporary Caregiver Insurance

«We believe that engaging everyone as fully as possible in our economy lays
the foundation for Rhode Island’s future growth, and builds strong families
and communities. This year’s conference highlights policies to do just that
– ensure all Rhode Island workers are able to participate in our growing
prosperity.» said Rachel Flum executive director of the Economic Progress
Institute.