Lovely Named Committee Chairwoman in First Term
State Sen. Joan Lovely has been named to seven committees on Beacon Hill, including chairwoman of a committee on mental health and substance abuse.
State Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) announced on Tuesday that she has been named chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Lovely was elected to the 2nd Essex District seat in the Senate in November, filling the seat held by Peabody Democrat Fred Berry for 30 years. Lovely emerged on top of a field of four Democrats in the September primary and beat Republican Richard Jolitz of Beverly in November.
She is not only the first person other than Berry to represent Peabody in the Senate in three decades, she's also the first woman ever to hold that seat.
Before being elected to the state Senate, Lovely was on the Salem City Council for 15 years and most recently served as Council President. Professionally, she is an attorney and real estate agent.
As chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Lovely said, she plans to work directly on state practices and policies to help residents deal with mental health and addiction issues.
She said she has already taken "several phone calls" from officials and professionals in the mental health and substance abuse fields and plans on meeting with others soon.
“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,” she said in an announcement of her committee assignments. “Addressing addiction and quality care for mental health are important parts of having good overall public health.”
In all, Lovely was assigned to seven committees by state Senate President Therese Murray, including Vice-Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
Lovely will also be a member of the following committees: Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development; Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses; Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure; Joint Committee on Public Health and Joint Committee on Election Laws.
“This is an important step in the legislative process,” Lovely said Tuesday. “I’m more than ready for all the work the seven committee assignments will bring.”