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PowerPlayer: Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts

Monday, January 30, 2012

 

This week’s PowerPlayer is Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. The LG was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about her work on healthcare reform and her hopes for the future of Rhode Island.

1) You have led the way on healthcare reform in Rhode Island and we’ve become a national model. Tell us about why things have worked out well in Rhode Island.

The key to our success has been how closely the RI Healthcare Reform Commission has worked with the community outside of government, as well as the relationships we’ve fostered with those inside the healthcare field. These differing perspectives have been beneficial in our steps towards health reform implementation. Also key to our success is the cooperation and collaboration of various departments inside state government. We’ve been recognized nationally for how quickly we’ve been able to make significant progress in our implementation efforts. This progress is testimony to just how productive government can be when we all work together toward a common goal.

2) Your job always seems to face intense criticism. Why do you think the Lieutenant Governor’s position is misunderstood?

Many people are not aware that the Lieutenant Governor’s role is limited by the state’s constitution, and the role varies from state to state. Responsibilities of this office tend to be project-focused, and often can accomplish important work. One example of this is the Health Reform Task Force that I initiated to prepare for national healthcare reform. However, projects such as the commission are not designated by the role itself, but are up to the elected official to define during their time in office. It is surprising to me that many overlook the office’s effectiveness and productivity.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

My days vary greatly, but I begin most mornings early with exercise and a read of the daily news. Once at work, I usually start with a quick review of the day’s commitments and an update of any last minute changes in scheduling. After that, it’s usually a full day of appointments, including internal meetings and those out in the community. On any given day, I may have meetings with constituents, state or local government officials, leaders in the healthcare industry, business owners or emergency management officials.

4) You’ve got three years left in your term. Tell us about your top 3 goals for Rhode Island in that time.

  • Implementation of Health Reform, especially with the milestone of the Health Insurance Exchange set to launch January 1, 2014.
     
  • To help create a state in which Main Street and new entrepreneurs can get businesses up and running, as well as have the opportunity for growth.
     
  • To make sure that Rhode Island is ready for any emergency or natural event that might bring disaster our way.


5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I am an avid Boston Red Sox fan and have had the chance to travel with my best friend to games all over the country. We have been fortunate enough to make it out to a game in Toronto, Canada, as well as down to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

Quick Hitters:

Role Model: Former RI State Senator June Gibbs

Favorite Restaurant: Broadway Bistro, but there is such a long list there are too many to count

Best Beach: Narragansett

Best Book You’ve read in the Last Year: Me of Little Faith By Lewis Black

Advice for the Next Elizabeth Roberts: Build a strong relationship with your Governor!

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