97-S 0651 am
Approved Jul. 3, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. Chapter 42-51 of the General Laws entitled "Governor's Commission on the Handicapped" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:

{ADD 42-51-11. Mary Brennan fellowship fund. -- ADD} {ADD (a) There is hereby established the Mary Brennan fellowship fund, (hereinafter referred to as the "fellowship fund"), which shall be utilized to create a fellowship program for college students with disabilities.

(b) These fellowships shall provide a semester-long, part-time placement with the commission in RI, working on disability policy and research. Each fellow will be assigned to a specific placement, providing assistance to the commission in disability policy. Mentor experiences will introduce the fellows to disability policy issues and actions at the local, state and federal levels. The fellowships will offer students an opportunity to:

(1) gain perspective on the role and responsibility of the commission;

(2) knowledge of national/state disability programs;

(3) policy issues and research;

(4) meet with decision makers, experts and critics in disability and related policy fields and;

(5) develop networks with local, regional, and national based experts, and researchers who can assist in career development and future endeavors.

(c) The commission will provide each fellow with a stipend of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) and reimbursement for authorized travel.

(d) This fellowship program is designed for individuals with demonstrated leadership and expertise in policy and research affecting people with disabilities. Applicants must have:

(1) completed at least three (3) semesters of college-level


(2) be enrolled as a full or part-time student in an accredited college or university in Rhode Island;

(3) leadership ability;

(4) the endorsement of a current/former supervisor;

(5) approval on the part of the college/university to receive credit for the fellowship if selected and;

(6) the ability to participate in the semester-long program in Providence for at least two hundred and forty (240) hours during the spring and fall semesters or in the summer.

(e) The commission shall give preference in its selection of fellows to Rhode Island residents who are:

(1) college students with disabilities, and then to

(2) college students enrolled in a course of study in education and/or human services for persons with disabilities.

(f) The general assembly shall appropriate ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998 and annually such sums as it deems necessary to implement the purposes of this section.

(g) The commission is authorized and empowered to receive donations and grants from sources including, but not limited to, the federal government, governmental and private foundations, and corporate and individual donors; these donations and grants to be deposited in the fellowship fund. The commission may create additional fellowships from available funds. ADD}

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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