Joshua Miller

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

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Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A series of hearings about the state of mental health care kicks off Thursday at the Statehouse. Lawmakers are concerned about gaps in the system.

Cranston Senator Josh Miller says he hopes to hold at least four hearings about mental health services in Rhode Island.

“And we hope to hear from providers and patients about the needs that aren’t being met, where those needs are, and what we can do either legislatively or departmentally to better meet some of those needs.”

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed into law new protections for patients battling mental health and substance abuse problems.

The first Providence International Arts Festival, held last weekend, was such a success that Mayor Jorge Elorza is moving ahead with plans for another such celebration next year, said mayoral spokesman David Ortiz.

Thousands thronged a downtown transformed into a giant music stage and pedestrian arts mall last Saturday and Sunday. ``It met our expectations and we’re looking to grow it in the future,’’ said Ortiz.

The weather cooperated both days as the sun washed over downtown. ``We did get lucky,’’ acknowledged Ortiz.

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

The Senate Health and Human Services committee will be considering a suite of proposed bills that aim to tackle the state's prescription painkiller and heroin addiction and overdose crisis.

The committee's chair, Senator Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), plans to introduce several of those bills, including:

State Senator Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) says he won't be a candidate for lieutenant governor next year.

"After careful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2014," Miller tells RIPR. "I wanted to make my decision early, allowing individuals who encouraged me to have sufficient time to identify and support other candidates."