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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/28/11

Rep. Beth O'Connor takes post on Health and Human Services Committee

AUGUSTA -- State Rep. Beth O'Connor has been appointed to the high-profile Health and Human Services Committee (HHS), an unusual assignment for a first-term legislator. The position gives her an influential voice in shaping legislation on issues ranging from MaineCare and medical marijuana to homelessness.

"I'm honored that leadership has seen fit to appoint me to a committee whose work touches so many individuals in our communities," said Rep. O'Connor (R-Berwick). "I look forward to working hard to ensure that Maine's neediest citizens receive the services they require in the most effective, efficient and dignified manner possible.

"I also want to help make sure," she added, "that the system gives individuals the resources and motivation they need to succeed and become productive and self-reliant members of our society to the greatest extent possible."

The Health and Human Services Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictional charters in the Legislature. It oversees the huge Department of Health and Human Services; MaineCare, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D; and children's welfare and mental health services. It also handles disease control; prescription drugs; social and rehabilitation services; substance abuse; mental health; disabilities; poverty, homelessness and public assistance.

The committee's purview also extends to home and community-based long-term care; aging, elderly and disability issues; medical use of marijuana; maternal and infant health; and nursing facilities and residential care.

The Maine Legislature has 16 bipartisan policy committees that handle bills and issues that fall within their areas of jurisdiction. Each committee has 13 members - three senators and 10 representatives.

Rep. O'Connor, currently a waitress at Fogarty's restaurant, in South Berwick, has been a bartender and also worked in banking and real estate. She is now serving her third term as director of the SAD 60 school board. Rep. O'Connor also holds the office of vice chairman of Maine Taxpayers United. ###

Contact:
Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445