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For state Sen. Lou DiPalma, D-12 (Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, and Tiverton), the 2023 legislative session will be an opportunity to focus on a number of technology-related issues.

Senator DiPalma

His focus on technology is hardly unexpected, as his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport is in computer engineering and his master’s degree is in computer science from Brown University. DiPalma is a technical director at Raytheon.

DiPalma was responding to a What’sUpNewp request of area legislators of their vision for the 2023 legislative session. We recognize this is early, and priorities may change or be expanded throughout the session. 

We reached out to legislators from the Newport County area and on the South Shore, asking for their vision for this upcoming legislative session. There are similarities in the two areas, with waterfront and tourism critical concerns.

We have heard from most of the legislators and are publishing their responses. DiPalma serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, Government Ethics, and Oversight, and is vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

Here are his priorities:

  1. Ensure our fiscal year ‘24 budget appropriately addresses our state’s needed investments, accounting for the impacts of continued inflation and expected, looming recession
  2. Conduct continued oversight of our one-time budget surplus line-items and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding investments included as part of our current fiscal year’s (FY’23) budget
  3. Enhance RI’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) addressing needed transparency and increased accountability. Legislation is under development.
  4. Address retired teachers/state workers COLA loss. Legislation is under development. 
  5. Enhance Rhode Island’s cybersecurity, use of artificial intelligence and data privacy laws increasing urgently needed protection for all Rhode Islanders.
    1. Re-introduce Senate Bill No. 2664, an act relating to criminal offenses – identity theft protection act of 2015 (Provides identity theft protections by requiring reporting of breaches by certain municipal and state agencies, and requires notice to collective bargaining agents where required and requires an explanation of remediation services.)
    2. Re-introduce Senate Bill No. 2514, an act relating to state affairs and government. (Establishes a commission to study the use of artificial intelligence in the decision-making process of state government.)
    3. Re-introduce Senate Bill No. 2491,, an act relating to state affairs and government – video lottery games, table games and sports wagering, the Rhode Island Consumer Protection Gaming Act. (Prohibits the use of facial recognition technology and biometric recognition technology in video-lottery terminals at pari-mutuel licensees in the state or in online betting applications.)
    4. Data privacy legislation is under development.

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