PROVIDENCE – A bill that could simplify administration of the RI Works program and boost employment numbers in the state has passed the Senate.
The RI Works program helps parents who are eligible for cash assistance to support their children by preparing for, accepting and retaining employment. Initially enacted in 2008, the program provides employment and support services, as well as temporary cash assistance, so parents can work rather than solely depend on public assistance to support their families. With a multiyear carryover of federal funds totaling $7 million, the R.I. Department of Human Services would be able to cover improvements to the program using federal money.
The legislation looks to increase workforce participation in the program by eliminating the two-tiered time limit of 24-month maximums, streamlining the process for developing an appropriate employment plan and increasing program accountability by requiring the R.I. Department of Human Services to produce an annual report.
The bill now moves to the House. •