(a) The general assembly finds and declares that domestic violence is a serious public health concern in the state of Rhode Island, and that evidence-based domestic violence prevention programs are important tools in decreasing the continuing toll that domestic violence takes on Rhode Island communities, cities, and towns. It is therefore in the best interest of the state to establish a fund to promote effective programs working toward the primary prevention of domestic violence in Rhode Island.
(b) Domestic violence prevention fund:
(1) There is created the domestic violence prevention fund program, to be administered by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
(2) The domestic violence prevention fund program monies shall be used to fund evidence-based programs with the purpose of primary prevention of domestic violence and dating violence in the state of Rhode Island.
(3) The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence shall convene a statewide prevention fund advisory committee comprised of those with knowledge, experience, training and/or expertise in the field of prevention of domestic violence and dating violence. The committee members shall include, but are not limited to, the executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, or their designee; the director of the department of health, or their designee; the director of the department of human services, or their designee; the attorney general, or their designee; and representative organizations providing domestic violence and dating violence primary prevention services in Rhode Island.
(c) The committee shall be responsible for implementation of programs to prevent domestic and dating abuse and shall:
(1) Develop a plan and budget for distribution of funds;
(2) Develop criteria for awarding and distributing funds received to develop plans and programs for the prevention of domestic and dating violence;
(3) Issue requests for proposals to providers, organizations, firms, or entities that will provide services to the committee;
(4) Review proposals for the funds and present recommendations to the board of directors of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence;
(5) Monitor and account for the expenditure of funds and produce an annual report on the activities of the domestic violence prevention fund. Annual reports shall be submitted to the senate and house finance committees of the general assembly for review on or before February 28 of each year; and
(6) Promote the general development of domestic violence primary prevention programs and activities.
(d) Organizations submitting proposals for funds shall not participate in the review of proposals or expenditure of funds. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence shall not be eligible to submit proposals for the committee’s programs nor shall it be eligible to receive any funds from the committee except as hereinafter provided.
(e) The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence may utilize up to ten percent (10%) of the sums collected for the domestic violence prevention fund for the purpose of administering the program and it shall also be required to submit an annual report detailing the expenditure of funds to the senate and house finance committees on or before February 28 of each year.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 131, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 135, § 1.)