Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to deliver her first State of The State address tonight. The address will give Rhode Islanders their first look at the governor’s spending priorities for the coming fiscal year.
Spending on health and human services accounts for about a third of Rhode Island’s nearly $9 billion dollar budget. That covers a huge range of programs, including medical benefits for the poor, elderly, and disabled and payments to hospitals. Spending on Medicaid is up, and the Governor’s budget may propose cuts to help close a state budget deficit. Hospitals and other health care providers worry that could hurt their bottom line, while advocates for the poor want to make sure health care remains accessible and affordable.
The Governor might include funding for the state’s online health insurance marketplace, HealthSource RI. Lawmakers have been debating whether to keep a state-based exchange as federal funding dwindles.
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