6:00 Contemporary Tour
Elizabeth Roberts was inaugurated as the 68th lieutenant governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations on January 2nd, 2007, making history as the first female elected to the position.
Prior to taking office, Roberts served in the Rhode Island State Senate from 1997 to 2007, distinguishing herself as one of Rhode Island’s most respected advocates for quality, affordable health care for every family and building a statewide reputation for being a tireless leader on health and medical issues. As lieutenant governor, Roberts serves as chair of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, the Small Business Advocacy Council, and the Emergency Management Advisory Council. In her work on the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, Roberts is pushing to expand community-based care for seniors and people with disabilities.
Through Roberts’ leadership, the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) focuses on ensuring that small business owners have a voice in government. The council has focused on the rising costs of health care for employers and state investments in small business development.
The Buy Local RI SBAC initiative seeks to grow sales and customer base for independent, locally owned businesses. Lt. Gov. Roberts is committed to ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to high quality, affordable health care. Last year she led the fight that was successful in saving the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, which had been eliminated in the proposed House Budget.
Also last year, legislation to make discounted, extended health benefits accessible to out-of-work Rhode Islanders was introduced at her request and passed into law. Lt. Gov. Roberts also reactivated the RI Oral Health Commission, the state’s primary coalition for improving access to oral health in the state.
The Lt. Governor opposed health insurance rate hike requests by the state’s three largest insurers over the past year, and responded to the spiraling costs of health care and the implementation of national health reform in Rhode Island by spearheading an initiative with all stakeholders. This intensified public effort is a six-session series called, “Making It Work: Health Reform in Rhode Island,” convened with the Rhode Island Foundation.
In May 2010, Lt. Gov. Roberts announced the formation of the “Healthy RI Implementation Task Force” in a meeting with heads of hospitals, health centers, physician groups, government agencies, business groups, and other important stakeholders in the state’s health care community. The task force will ensure Rhode Island is proactive in implementing the federal health reform law, ready to take advantage of the many opportunities in the law that are available to the state, as well as anticipate and address any challenges that will face the state as the law takes effect.