Health Care

Lawmakers begin hearings today on proposed cuts to Medicaid, the state’s medical assistance program for the poor.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has asked a task force to recommend ways to trim $90 million dollars in state spending on Medicaid. The senate finance committee is scheduled to hear testimony about several budget proposals that would cut payments to hospitals and nursing homes.

Federal Wildlife Service

A bill that would eliminate caregivers from the state’s medical marijuana program continues to stir up controversy. But a lobbyist behind the bill says his client simply wants more regulation of the medical marijuana industry.

So-called caregivers are allowed to grow a small number of medical marijuana plants for a few patients. They’ve launched a campaign to discredit a bill that would replace caregivers with two growing and distribution centers. Lobbyist Peter Petrarca denies claims the bill would only benefit his client, Rhode Island Growers and Distributors LLC.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide,” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

Today, we visit a diner in Warwick, where a group of women have joined forces to beat tough times.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

State Police are raising concerns about the state’s medical marijuana program. At issue is the role of caregivers, who are licensed by the state to grow a small number of plants for medical marijuana patients.

Rhode Island State Police spokesman Major Kevin O’Brien says last year police searched the homes of 21 caregivers. More than three-quarters of them were growing more marijuana than the law allows.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Advocates for patients who use medical marijuana are protesting a new bill that would quash a key component of the state’s medical marijuana program. The new bill would eliminate caregivers.

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