Sen. Rafferty appointed chair of Labor and Housing Committee
Sen. Joe Rafferty, D-Kennebunk, has been appointed to serve as Senate chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing for the 130th Maine Legislature. The Labor and Housing Committee is responsible for legislation related to the Department of Labor, working conditions, collective bargaining, public and private sector retirement systems, Maine State Housing Authority, landlord-tenant laws, housing safety, building codes and more.
“Throughout my years in education, I’ve been an active member, negotiator and leader in my union. I’m excited to bring that on-the-ground experience supporting workers – and working to reach consensus with folks on the other side of the table – to the Labor Committee,” said Sen. Rafferty. “Mainers all seek to earn a living wage and to have access to affordable health care. That’s what I fought for in my union, and I’ll continue that work toward that in leading the Labor and Housing Committee.”
Sen. Rafferty also will serve on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, which is responsible for legislation related to the Department of Education, school budgets, the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System, Maine Arts Commission, Maine Historical Society, Maine Public and more.
Sen. Rafferty was the first in his family to graduate from college, with a degree in physical education. He went on to have an extended career in education. From 1984 until his retirement from full-time teaching in 2018, he was a strong advocate and voice for teachers, serving in various capacities: as President of the Teacher’s Union, Building Representative on the Executive Committee, and Chief Negotiator on the contract negotiation team. He recently completed his 42nd season as the Head Football Coach of the Kennebunk Rams and works in the school district as a substitute teacher and bus driver.
Lawmakers are assigned to committees by the presiding officers based on their interests, experience and professional background. Joint standing committees are composed of three senators and ten representatives. The Legislature will reconvene in the new year.