Why is the Blackstone Foundation Funding Social Enterprise in Rhode Island? – Workforce Development – Inside Philanthropy

Memo to development officers: It’s always good to have a U.S. Senator in your corner. Case in point: $200,000 in funding for two nonprofits in Rhode Island doing workforce development.

Through the Blackstone Foundation’s Innovation Grants Initiative, the Founders League and the Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) were selected to receive funding to support startups located in Rhode Island. Blackstone gave out $3 million in gifts this year to organizations around the country doing work to improve local economies and support business activity. Now in its third year, the Blackstone Innovation Grants program is a big piece of the foundation’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in the U.S. and abroad.

via Why is the Blackstone Foundation Funding Social Enterprise in Rhode Island? – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Republican Budget Unfair and Unreal

From the Whitehouse press office:

Washington, DC – Early this morning, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the Republican budget resolution by a vote of 52-46. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Budget Committee, released the statement below regarding the vote:

“I voted against the Republican budget proposal because it calls for severe cuts that would dramatically harm Rhode Islanders while protecting every single tax loophole for the rich and powerful. It would slash Medicaid and food stamps, undermine the promise of Pell Grants for students, and repeal provisions of the Affordable Care Act that have helped over 16 million Americans get affordable health care coverage. And yet it would preserve hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways, like incentives for shipping American jobs overseas and reincorporating in a foreign country, and special breaks for coal, oil, and gas companies. That’s why it has to rely on accounting gimmicks to achieve balance within ten years. It’s simply an unfair and unreal document.”

A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Back in December, we wrote about the Rhode Island Foundation blazing a trail for health care reform by convening Rhode Island health care stakeholders and getting everyone to sign on to a reform agenda. A key plank of that agenda is expanding and developing “alternative reimbursement models that reward value and patient-centric care delivery.” Translation: let’s scrap fee-for-service.

A few weeks later, we learned that this movement may have a national impact, with the Obama administration borrowing much of the language and many ideas of the Rhode Island health care reform agenda. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced ambitious goals for moving Medicare payments away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement.

via A Community Foundation Playing a Big Role in the Next Health Care Battle: Payment Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Whitehouse and Cornyn Meet with Obama on Criminal Justice

From the Whitehouse Press office:

Washington, DC – Today President Obama and Vice President Biden convened a meeting at the White House to discuss criminal justice reform efforts with key members of Congress, including U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Whitehouse, a lead sponsor of the CORRECTIONS Act along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), released the statement below regarding the meeting:

“Both Republican and Democratic leaders agree we can pass meaningful criminal justice reform measures this year, and I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss how to best move forward. Senator Cornyn and I have already built a strong bipartisan consensus around our legislation to better prepare inmates for re-entering society and reduce the risk that they’ll commit future crimes, and I strongly support the effort led by other Senators to reform our sentencing laws. I’m hopeful that we will be able to achieve both prison and sentencing reform this year, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership on this important issue.”

According to the White House, other Senators attending today’s meeting included Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT).

The CORRECTIONS Act would improve public safety and save taxpayer money by requiring prisoners to participate in recidivism reduction programs and allowing certain eligible prisoners to earn up to 25 percent of their sentence in prerelease custody for successful completion of these programs. The programs, which can include things like vocational training and substance abuse treatment, have been proven to help former prisoners successfully re-acclimate to society upon release and to reduce the risk that they will commit future crimes.

Arnold’s Latest Big Play: Corralling Unusual Bedfellows to Reform Criminal Justice – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

We’ll say it again: We love watching the Laura and John Arnold Foundation do business. Why? Because whatever you may think of LJAF’s ideas, this funder is always angling for the big play. And as for those ideas, they’re more eclectic than some might think. While the Arnolds are often cast as part of the conservative education cabal, and John Arnold has been gunning for public pensions reform, the foundation is also friendly to some progressive causes. A case in point: criminal justice reform, where the Arnolds have long pushed to create fairer, more effective policies—backing the Innocence Project, among other groups.

Lately, though, the foundation has been thinking even bigger about ways to move the needle in this area, and capitalize on how more Americans of all political stripes want to move away from a harsh war on crime that’s a legacy of the bygone crack era of the 1990s.

via Arnold’s Latest Big Play: Corralling Unusual Bedfellows to Reform Criminal Justice – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

This Funder is Supporting the Data to Make Big Juvenile Justice Policy Changes – Inside Philanthropy

Youth advocates and their funders are hoping that 2015 is going to be a very good year for juvenile justice reform. The year is starting with bipartisan legislation submitted to congress by senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) which would overhaul outdated juvenile justice laws nationally, with a particular focus on ending imprisonment for status offenses, such as children who are truant, runaway, or violate curfew, alcohol, and tobacco laws. The new law also provides clear direction to state and local governments on how to stop racial profiling and reduce levels of imprisonment for young people of color.

via This Funder is Supporting the Data to Make Big Juvenile Justice Policy Changes – Children | Youth | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.