Middletown state senator honored by national technology industry group

By: - November 14, 2023 3:05 pm

Sen. Lou DiPalma, a Middletown Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, is pictured speaking at the the State House. (Nancy Lavin/Rhode Island Current)

Sen. Lou DiPalma of Middletown is one of seven state legislators nationwide recently honored by a technology and innovation advocacy group.

DiPalma was recognized by TechNet as one of its 2023 Champion of Innovation winners, alongside six other lawmakers, as part of the organization’s annual policy conference in Austin, according to an organization statement on Monday. The award from TechNet, which describes itself as a bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives, recognizes state lawmakers who “champion policies that spur innovation, create jobs and drive economic growth.”

DiPalma, a Democrat, has served in the Rhode Island Senate for 14 years, and currently heads the Senate Committee on Finance. He sponsored 45 bills in the 2023 legislative session, many of which focused on technology-related issues like identity theft, artificial intelligence and regulation of facial recognition software in video lottery terminals.

DiPalma, who has a master’s degree in computer science from Brown University and works as a technical director for Raytheon, also recently hosted a virtual Cyber Hygiene event alongside former U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin. The seventh annual event, held on Oct. 23, featured experts in the field on how to best protect themselves against various types of cybercrimes.

The advances we are witnessing in technology, such as AI and its applications, continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and with these changes come new and emerging risks to the general public,” DiPalma said in a statement.

A recording of the event is available on YouTube.


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Nancy Lavin
Nancy Lavin

Nancy Lavin is senior reporter covering state politics, energy and environmental issues for the Rhode Island Current.