A U.S. District Court judge says Rhode Island must speed up its compliance with an order to help developmentally disabled adults– or face fines. The order, or so-called consent decree, requires the state to move the adults into more appropriate work settings.
The ultimate goal of that decree was to end the use of so-called sheltered workshops that paid developmentally disabled adults low wages to do piece work.
A federal judge ordered the state to make more specific plans, meet strict deadlines, or possibly be in contempt of court. He also ordered the activities be fully funded in the state budget.
He wants Rhode Island to develop a database to track the services and plans put in place for each adult targeted under the consent decree. The court will double check the records in that database to ensure the work is being carried out.
A spokesman for the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services says the state is committed to meeting the goals of the consent decree. He says Gov. Gina Raimondo has included nearly seven million dollars in her budget to support the requirements of that decree.