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For Immediate Release

Date: 02/15/11

Rep. Knapp Named State Director for Women in Government

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Jane Knapp has been named to the position of state director for Women in Government (WIG), a national, non-partisan organization of female state legislators that provides leadership opportunities, expert forums and educational resources concerning public policy issues.

Rep. Knapp (R-Gorham), a second-term legislator, said she is honored to be chosen for the position. "Women in Government promotes a number of policies important to Maine women, including health care, economic development and education," she said. "Other states face many of the same issues we have in Maine. I'll be interested in learning how they are dealing with them and bringing the best ideas back to our Legislature."

Some of WIG's accomplishments include the Challenge to Eliminate Cervical Cancer Campaign; osteoporosis legislation; the establishment of State Offices of Women's Health; raising awareness of mental health parity issues; and initiatives for female prison inmates. Rep. Knapp said she has attended meetings about adult education and plans to attend an event concerning diabetes.

The state directors program provides a link between legislators and WIG's national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Each state has four directors, two senators and two representatives from both political parties. State directors identify key issues and help set up symposia in their respective states. Since its founding in 1988, Women in Government has raised more than $18.4 million in educational grants and donations from corporations, foundations and individuals.

Women in Government is being led this year by another Maine legislator, Rep. Kimberley Rosen (R-Bucksport). She was elected as chairman of the board of directors at the group's 17th Annual State Directors Conference, held in California in January. Rep. Rosen, a member of WIG since taking office six years ago, has served as state director, eastern regional director, secretary and vice chairman.

Rep. Knapp, a retired biology teacher, also is a member of this year's class of Leadership Maine, a program designed to build a pool of talented leaders to shape the state's future. The program is run by the Maine Development Foundation, a private, non-partisan corporation that focuses on economic issues. ###

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