human services

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Despite the recent stream of bitterly cold temperatures, Rhode Island’s Low Income Heating Assistance Program still has plenty of money for the cold months to come.

Rhode Island received about $27 million dollars in federal assistance to support the program this year.  LIHEAP, as it’s known, helps some 34 thousand households pay for heating costs throughout the winter. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he's willing to consider cutting spending if that's what it takes to reduce Rhode Island's long-term structural deficits.

During a Statehouse interview Monday, Mattiello said that when it comes to the almost $200 million deficit for the fiscal year starting next July, the state needs to be more efficient "and we're going to have to look at what our neighboring states do and get our expenses in line with our neighboring states."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport is poised to be elected next month to her fourth term as president of the Rhode Island Senate. Paiva Weed recently sat down in her Statehouse office to talk about her priorities for 2015 and other issues.

The Rhode Island Community Action Association is asking people who received surveys in the mail to complete them and return them.   Ten thousand Rhode Islanders were selected at random to receive the surveys.  The purpose, said Association director Paula McFarland is to determine if the state is doing enough to provide the human services people need.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) State Sen. Josh Miller has been named chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The senator representing Cranston and Providence is anticipating a full agenda for health-related legislation.

Josh Miller takes the helm of the health and human services committee from former chairwoman Rhoda Perry, who didn’t run for reelection. As the new chair, Miller will wield influence over the senate’s health legislation agenda. He says he hopes to consider, in particular, legislation to address disparities in hospital payments.