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Rep. David Morales: Legislative Achievements

Dear Neighbors,

Serving as our community's State Representative over the last two years (2021-2022) has been an absolute honor and I'm grateful for the opportunity. Throughout my tenure, I've been proud to fight in support of laws that benefit our working families, seniors, K-12 students, young people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the Mt. Pleasant, Valley, and Elmhurst neighborhoods. 

Below is a brief summary of the laws and budget initiatives that I have proudly supported:

 

Protecting and Expanding Healthcare:

  • Capped the Monthly out-of-pocket expenses for Insulin at $40

  • Required that COVID-19 Vaccinations, Testing, & Treatment always be free of costs

  • Expanded  ‘Telemedicine’ for Medicaid and Private Insurance Patients

  • Prohibited Gender Discrimination in Health Insurance Coverage

  • Strengthened staffing standards in Nursing Homes to improve resident care

  • Established Medicaid Coverage for Doula Services

  • Guaranteed Medicaid coverage to every lower-income child in the state

  • Expanded Medicaid coverage to all new mothers, up to 12 months postpartum

  • Increased the Medicaid reimbursement rates for Dental Services to be aligned with Massachusetts (for the first time since the mid-1990s)

  • Increased the Medicaid reimbursement rates for Labor & Delivery Services by 20% 

  • Increased the Medicaid reimbursement rates for pediatric providers so they are equal to the primary care rates paid by Medicare

  • Increased the reimbursement rates for agencies providing: Home-Based Therapeutic Services, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Personal Assistance Services, Respite Services, Personal Care Aide Services for Seniors, and Homemaker Services

  • Require private health insurance to cover biomarker testing services to help cancer patients understand the most effective course of treatment

  • Invested $4 million to the RI Free Clinic which provides free medical and preventative care services to low-income adults that lack health insurance (over 4,500 patients are served each year)

 

Labor Rights:

  • Pathway to a $15 Minimum Wage by 2025

  • Established the strongest Whistleblower Labor protections in the country, further protecting workers who report workplace violations or misconduct

  • Expanded Paid Sick Leave for Caregivers

  • Equal Pay for All People

  • Prohibit employers from keeping any of the tips earned by workers

  • Repealed a wrongful law that allowed employers to pay workers with disabilities below the minimum wage

 

Housing Investments:

  • Established an Annual Funding Stream for ‘Affordable’ and ‘Low-to-Moderate Income’ Housing

  • Prohibited 'Source of Income' Discrimination for Housing

  • Established the 'Pay for Success' Program focused on providing wraparound services to unhoused people

  • Prohibited LGBTQ+ Discrimination for Housing

 

Improving the K-12 Education Experience: 

  • Provision of free Feminine Hygiene Products in all Public Schools

  • Expanded access to English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) Teaching Certifications

  • Require that all public High School Students demonstrate their knowledge of American Civics 

  • Require African Heritage History courses in all public elementary and secondary schools 

 

Investments in Higher Education: 

  • Established Tuition-Free Community College for Graduating High School Students through the RI Promise Scholarship

  • In-State Tuition for all RI Students at our State Colleges and Universities, regardless of Immigration Status

  • Increased funding for Rhode Island College (RIC)

 

Other Important Laws and Budget Items: 

  • Provision of Single Stall Gender-Neutral Restrooms in Public Buildings

  • Expanded accessibility to Child Care by capping Co-Payments

  • Continued Elimination of the Car Tax by 2023

  • Secured a $5,000 grant for our Mt. Pleasant Community Library