- Associated Press - Thursday, April 5, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has reached a deal on a new three-year contract for daycare operators.

The Providence Journal reports the governor’s administration announced Wednesday the new contract with the Service Employees International Union includes increased wages and ties rate increases to improved quality child care.

The union ratified the contract unanimously on Monday.

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Raimondo previously proposed the state spend $1.5 million on wage hikes as part of her 2019 budget proposal. An administration spokeswoman says the $9.38 billion budget does not cover the full cost of the new contract.

The state’s subsidized childcare cost is expected to increase as employment grows.

House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin Abney has criticized the contract, saying the governor is committing to money the state doesn’t have.

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