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Senate Bill 2476: An Act Relating to State Affairs and Government – Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island

Senate Bill 2476: An Act Relating to State Affairs and Government – Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island

Enacted in June 2016, this legislation mandates that the Governor’s Workforce Board create and expand job and career opportunities for individuals with intellectual, developmental, or other significant disabilities while producing a strategic statewide employment and training plan for the state. The law directs the Board to structure the plan over a period of two fiscal years and produce a comprehensive analysis of all workforce development activities in Rhode Island in order to identify strategies to improve statewide employment, including for individuals with IDD. Once complete, the analysis would be submitted to the Governor and will inform future policies and guidelines for employment and training programs in the state. The legislation also directs the Board to convene a consulting advisory committee as it prepares its strategic plan. The committee will be tasked with advising officials on how to strengthen efforts to broaden employment opportunities through the State Career Pathways System. Committee members need to represent a diverse set of stakeholders, including community-based organizations, the public-workforce system, and different state departments. In order to ensure that the interests of individuals with IDD are represented, the committee must include an official from the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. The Governor’s Workforce Board is also instructed to uphold career opportunities by providing oversight of local workforce-investment boards that deliver employment, training and education services. This legislation was passed by both houses of the Rhode Island State Legislature in June 2016 and was signed into law by the Governor, taking effect immediately.