Executive Order 21-113

Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, Executive Order 20-02 was issued for a declaration of a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19, and that Order has been extended through at least December 23, 2021;

WHEREAS, on November 12, 2021, I issued Executive Order 21-109 affirming the disaster emergency that was first declared on August 19, 2021 for new COVID-19 variants;

WHEREAS, under the state of emergency, the State has been experiencing an unprecedented level of unemployment claims as well as other related issues and seeks to pay qualifying claims as soon as possible;

WHEREAS, as a result of this emergency, it may be advisable to call upon the knowledge, skills and expertise of certain Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) workers and to bring them back into active state service;

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws § 3 6-10-3 6 provides for the suspension of pension benefits of retirees who have retired under the provisions of titles 16 or 36 who return to state service;

WHEREAS, retirees who may have critical skills necessary to address this public health emergency may be reluctant to re-enter state service if their pension benefits will thereby be suspended; and

WHEREAS, it is advisable to remove any disincentive to re-employment of skilled and knowledgeable retirees by the state for limited periods and for limited personnel in order to address this health emergency.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DANIEL J. MCKEE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island, pursuant to Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution and the Rhode Island General Laws, including, but not limited to, Title 30, Chapter 15, do hereby order and direct the following:

  1. The prohibitions and restrictions on post-retirement employment by persons who have retired under the provisions of titles 16, 36 or 45 which are contained in Rhode Island General Laws§ 36-10-36, are hereby suspended with respect to those specific retirees identified by DLT, provided that with respect to each such retiree identified as possessing skills, training or knowledge necessary to address the public health crisis engendered by COVID-19, DLT executes and delivers to the State Retirement Board of the Employees Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island and the Municipal Employees Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island a written certification that the re-employment is of finite duration and is necessitated by the good faith belief that the skills, training or knowledge of the retiree are needed to address the public health crisis caused by COVID-19.

This Order, effective as of November 28, 2021, shall remain in full force and effect through December 27, 2021 unless renewed, modified or terminated by a subsequent Executive Order.

So Ordered,

Daniel J. McKee