2014 Rhode Island General Assembly Session Gets Underway

State HouseWith the ushering in of the new year, the Rhode Island General Assembly is ready to get back to work starting today at 4:00pm. Here are a few key dates for the 2014 session:

  • Opening Day – Tuesday, January 7, 2014
  • Last day for Senate public bill introduction – Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • Last day for House public bill introduction – Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • Winter Recess – February 17-21, 2014
  • Reconvene – Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Last day for Senate Committee consideration of Senate bills – Thursday, April 10, 2014
  • Initial House bill hearing deadline for House Committees – Tuesday, April 15, 2014
  • Spring Recess – April 21-25, 2014
  • Reconvene – Tuesday, April 29, 2014
  • Ethics Commission financial statements due on or before Friday, April 25, 2014

In case you missed it here’s a start of session News Roundup special edition:

Providence Journal – 2014: The Key Issues
By Katherine Gregg, Philip Marcelo, and Randal Edgar
Rhode Island’s part-time lawmakers return to Smith Hill Tuesday to wrestle again with the state’s calamitous $75-million investment in Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios, a gaping budget hole and — very possibly — public-employee pensions as well, if secret court-ordered talks produce a proposed settlement.

RIPR: Ready or Not, the General Assembly Is Set to Start Anew
By Ian Donnis
The General Assembly starts action Tuesday afternoon in a year marked by politically complicated issues — the possible fallout of pension mediation and the rising tab for 38 Studios, for starters — and a high-profile race for governor.

WPRI: RI lawmakers, back in session, may get déjà vu
By Ted Nesi
Rhode Island’s 113 state lawmakers may get a sharp sense of déjà vu Tuesday when they return to Smith Hill for the first time since July.

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Happy Holidays from Advocacy Solutions!

AS holiday pic

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Strong Launch for HealthSource RI

hsri_logoOn October 1st, Rhode Island’s health benefits exchange, HealthSource RI, officially launched and began open enrollment for individuals and small businesses. Despite a few minor glitches in the first hours that the www.HealthSourceRI.com website went live, our health exchange is working well and enrolling Rhode Islanders in quality affordable health plans. Indeed, Rhode Island is being pointed to as an example of one of the few states that experienced a smooth rollout of its health benefits exchange.

Advocacy Solutions is proud to have helped assist HealthSource RI plan and execute the “39-in-3” state-wide public awareness campaign, where HealthSource RI staff and outreach specialists held community education forums in all 39 Rhode Island cities and towns over the course of three months (July-September). The campaign raised public and media awareness about HealthSource RI and the many enrollment resources available to individuals and small businesses. Advocacy Solutions has also assisted the HealthSource RI team to plan media events and to develop fact sheets and other collateral materials.

Check out HealthSource RI’s first television ad below. And if you are interested to see what health insurance options are available through the exchange, visit www.HealthSourceRI.com or call the contact center at 1-855-840-HSRI (4774).

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Former AS intern honored at national conference

Caitlin G - scholarship winnerThe Advocacy Solutions team is pleased to share that our former public affairs intern, Caitlin Galeotti, was honored this week at the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) 2013 National Conference in Philadelphia. Before 1,100 of her PRSSA peers from across the U.S., Caitlin was presented with the first-ever Robin Urbanski Memorial College Scholarship.

Robin M. Urbanski-Janikowski was a nationally respected PR professional and well known for her media relations role at United Airlines. She lost her long battle to cancer at age 41. Robin’s husband presented Caitlin with the scholarship.

Caitlin, a senior Media Communications major at Roger Williams University, interned with AS during her spring 2013 semester. She quickly adapted to our fast-paced environment and established herself as an integral part of our team.

Caitlin currently serves as her university’s PRSSA chapter president, where she’s deeply invested in strengthening the chapter and committed to helping her peers and larger network succeed.

We’d like to congratulate Caitlin for her outstanding accomplishment – we’re proud to call her an AS alumni!

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Telling the Story of Transformation at Central Falls High School

CF School District LogoIn 2010, Central Falls High School experienced a very challenging year. After being deemed “persistently low achieving” and in need of intervention by the Rhode Island Department of Education, the school adopted a bold transformation plan aimed at increasing the graduation rate, improving students’ math proficiency, and improving the school’s culture.

Advocacy Solutions was proud to work with the Central Falls School District to communicate the story of transformation to community members and the media. Through the Central Falls High School Transformation website and email newsletter, we helped keep community members informed and engaged in transformation efforts.

Three years later, we are again proud to partner with the school district to help share the positive results of the The Central Falls High School Third Year Transformation Report, conducted by the Education Alliance and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. The report, a detailed analysis of the school’s efforts over the last three years, finds that Central Falls High School has made significant progress towards all three transformation plan goals:

  • 4-year graduation rate has improved from 48% for the class of 2009 to 70% for the class of 2012
  • NECAP mathematics proficiency rate has nearly doubled from 7% in October 2011 to 13% in October 2012
  • Teachers, students, parents, staff, and community partners all report an improved school culture and climate

Congratulations to the students, teachers, staff, and community members of Central Falls High School for coming together to support transformation.

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