Rhode Island State House

Sen. Louis P. DiPalma’s (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) legislation (2017-S 0266) that would require the participation and input of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (DBHDDH) in medical assistance and public assistance caseload estimating conferences passed the Rhode Island Senate tonight.

The legislation also calls for each department to generate monthly data to members of the caseload estimating conference.

“The legislation is about honest and transparent budgeting. We need an accurate accounting of how many individuals we are serving in these vital programs, so that our budget reflects the associated costs, or makes program adjustments, or both,” said Senator DiPalma.  “With additional facts and data which would result from the biannual Caseload Estimating Conference, the General Assembly would be able to more accurately budget for these needed services.”

The legislation outlines the specific data that each department must provide to the caseload estimating conference.  DHS will report on caseload information and expenditures for cash assistance programs such as RI Works, SSI, general public assistance and child care.

EOHHS shall provide caseload and expenditure information regarding hospitals, long-term care, managed care, and pharmacy and medical service costs.

DCYF will be required to provide caseload and cost information on residential care services, foster care services, behavioral health care services, adoption services and care, juvenile probation and parole services and care, and juvenile justice and education.

Finally, DBHDDH will have to report the cost and caseload data on developmental disability services, mental health services, behavioral health services, substance abuse services, and hospital services which includes forensics.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration where Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) has introduced companion legislation (2017-H 5841).

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.