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February 6, 2013

Lovely to chair Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse

SALEM — State Sen. Joan Lovely has been appointed chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Lovely, a former Salem city councilor, was sworn in to the state Senate Jan. 2 to represent the 2nd Essex district, consisting of Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Danvers and Topsfield. She replaces longtime Sen. Fred Berry, who retired.

Senate President Therese Murray assigned the Senate leadership and committee positions on Jan. 31.

Lovely will also serve as vice-chairwoman for the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs and sit on the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development; the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses; the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure; the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

“This is an important step in the legislative process,” Lovely said in a written statement yesterday. “I’m more than ready for all the work the seven committee assignments will bring. ...”

“There’s a lot of good work to be done in the areas of mental health and substance abuse, and I’m eager to join the effort. Addressing addiction and quality care for mental health are important parts of having good overall public health.”

— Bethany Bray

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