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7/8/2015 Representative Mike Chippendale to Chair Two House Commissions in the 2015 Legislative Off-Season Health and Education
STATE HOUSE – Senior Deputy Minority Leader Mike Chippendale (R- District 40, Coventry, Foster, Glocester) has been appointed to chair two distinct Special House Legislative Commissions. The commission to create a strategic plan for collaboration within Rhode Island’s public health system, specifically the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, and the commission that will develop recommendations to provide internet services to underserved communities will meet in the months while the legislature is in recess.

The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (BMLD) is a division of the Department of Health that creates its own rules and regulations. Missed opportunities for collaboration or failure to abide by its own rules may occur for lack of oversight by appropriate state agencies. Representative Chippendale will lead the Commission that will "investigate the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline."

Chippendale commented, "The myriad boards and agencies in state government often operate unchecked. In other words, they are supposed to be operating under rules and regulations created by the overseeing State Department. However, without any outside oversight, we really don't know how they function in many cases. Republicans believe several state agencies and departments have so much leeway and in-fact do operate without any true oversight, that the very real possibility of 'straying' from the rules and regulations of the department is not something altogether impossible. This commission is the first of what we hope will be many that are charged with taking on a role of oversight to ensure that all rules are being followed properly." The BMLD Commission should start in early August.

The need to address a lack of broadband internet service in certain houses located in the Ponaganset School District necessitated the Special Commission to Study and Make Recommendations on Providing Broadband Internet to Underserved Communities in Northwestern RI. Ponaganset schools are using advanced technology for the education of students in 7th through 12th grade yet too many students are unable to access this technology due to lack of broadband services in the area.

Representative Chippendale spoke passionately about this issue: "Students use laptop computers for schoolwork and homework. Having no access to broadband internet is quite literally depriving them of an education. When a student doesn't have internet access and the library is closed, they don't really have any option other than not doing their homework and other projects that require research or access to the school's server where they use advanced technology to interact with teachers and other classmates. This was an extremely problematic situation this school year and we only had 2 grades using laptops - this coming year we will have 6 grades operating 100% on laptop computers." The Ponaganset Broadband Commission should also start in August.

Representative Chippendale is serving his third term in the House of Representatives.

For more information, contact:
Lisa Blais, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2259