fb-pixel Skip to main content

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I can’t believe DePaul is still playing basketball this season and PC isn’t. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 129,595 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after adding 318 new cases. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 1.9 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 17.2 percent. The state announced three more deaths, bringing the total to 2,559. There were 142 people in the hospital, and 97,716 residents were fully vaccinated.


It’s Budget Day in Rhode Island, but the big news for communities across the state came Wednesday when the Congress finalized a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that includes $1,400 payments for millions of Americans and billions of dollars for state and local governments.

Rhode Island is expected to receive $1.78 billion from the American Rescue Plan, which includes more than $1.1 billion for state government. But cities and towns are also about to get a windfall of aid over the next two years. They’ll have until the end of 2024 to spend it.

Here’s a breakdown of how much each community is expected to receive, according to US Senator Jack Reed’s office:

Providence: $131 million

Pawtucket: $46 million

Woonsocket: $33 million

Cranston: $27 million

Warwick: $24 million

East Providence: $19 million

Cumberland: $3.5 million

Coventry: $3.45 million

North Providence: $3.24 million 

South Kingstown: $3 mullion

Johnston: $2.9 million

West Warwick: $2.87 million

North Kingstown: $2.6 million

Newport: $2.4 million 

Westerly: $2.22 million

Lincoln: $2.18 million

Bristol: $2.17 million

Smithfield: $2.17 million

Central Falls: $1.94 million


Portsmouth: $1.7 million

Burrillville: $1.67 million

Barrington: $1.59 million

Middletown: $1.58 million

Tiverton: $1.55 million

Narragansett: $1.52 million

East Greenwich: $1.3 million

North Smithfield: $1.25 million

Scituate: $1.06 million

Warren: $1.04 million

Glocester: $1 million

Hopkinton: $800,000 

Charlestown: $780,000 

Richmond: $770,000 

Exeter: $650,000 

West Greenwich: $630,000 

Jamestown: $550,000 

Foster: $470,000 

Little Compton: $340,000 

New Shoreham: $100,000 

There are other pots of funding that municipalities will also qualify for, but it’s unclear exactly how much each community will receive. In a press release, Reed’s office said the money will be distributed by population size.

There isn’t strong guidance yet on how the state and cities and towns can spend the money, except that it’s designed to pay for services that have been interrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that governments are prohibited from using the money for pension funds (sorry Providence).

As lawmakers craft a final version of the state budget in the coming months (McKee’s proposal will come out at 4 p.m.), you can expect them to quickly find ways to spend the $1.1 billion coming from the relief package. McKee has offered few hints at what’s in his plan, except to say that he won’t increase taxes this year.


⚓ As Republican elected officials across the country push for new voting restrictions, a coalition of 27 groups is calling for Rhode Island to lower barriers to using mail ballots, expanding early voting, and allowing same-day voter registration. Read more.

⚓ Rhode Islanders who are over the age of 16 and have specific underlying conditions can now book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment with clinics at Lifespan, despite not yet being eligible under state guidelines. Read more.


⚓ A federal court has dismissed a series of claims from students from three different Rhode Island universities who had filed lawsuits alleging they were entitled to a tuition refund after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the universities to transition to remote learning in March 2020. Read more.

⚓  Do you agree with the choices for best pizza in Rhode Island? Read more.


Politics: My colleague James Pindell introduces us to US Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who helped sink the minimum wage increase. Read more.

⚓ Health: The nation’s top infectious disease expert says the US could see significant steps toward a return to the pre-pandemic normal, even before the country reaches coronavirus herd immunity. Read more.

Crime: Authorities believe a man who was killed in a gangland slaying on Federal Hill in 1992 was responsible for the 1991 murder of Howard Ferrini in Massachusetts. Read more.

Education: Colleges across the Boston area are planning for full dormitories, mostly in-person classes, a cappella group performances, football games, and even study abroad programs this fall, a sign of optimism that the pandemic will have subsided and something approaching normal college life can resume. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.


⚓ Later this afternoon, Governor Dan McKee will unveil his proposed state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

⚓ The assault trial of Providence Police Sergeant Joseph Hanley continues this morning.

⚓ The Annenberg Institute at Brown University is hosting a virtual discussion at 3 p.m. on school reform in New Orleans and what Providence can learn from it. 

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.