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PROVIDENCE — Erika Niedowski’s love of biking was well known, so when the McKee administration decided to start offering discounts for e-bikes, it seemed fitting to name the state program after the late advocate. environment, journalist and former government staff member.

Governor Dan McKee paid tribute to his former employee in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Wednesday by announcing the creation of the Electric Bike Rebate Program in Memory of Erika Niedowski.a $250,000 initiative that is expected to help fund the purchase of up to 350 e-bikes statewide.

“He was just a great person who really had people’s best interests in mind when doing his job,” McKee said of Niedowski, who died two years ago.

Prior to working under McKee, Niedowski was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, where she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and then for the Associated Press in Providence. She left the PA for a communications position in the lieutenant governor’s office and, after earning a master’s degree in public policy, joined the Acadia Center, a regional clean energy organization. She died in 2020 at the age of 46 following an unexpected illness.

Governor Dan McKee announces a new state program offering rebates for e-bikes.

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Niedowski has been on rides of the century, but she also cycled more casually whenever she got the chance, longtime partner Patrick Laverty said. The governor’s office came up with the idea for the program and to honor him, he said.

“It’s definitely the fusion of two things that she really loved, which was being on her bike and protecting the environment,” Laverty said.

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