Senator Diamond Appointed to Government Oversight Committee
Augusta – Senate President Kevin Raye (R-Washington County) announced Friday that he has appointed Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland County) to serve on the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee. Senator Diamond is filling a vacancy left by the retirement of Senator Bliss (D-Cumberland) earlier this year.
The Government Oversight Committee is responsible for evaluating state government agencies and programs, and works through the Legislature’s non-partisan Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA). OPEGA supports the Legislature in monitoring and improving the performance of State government. The Government Oversight Committee determines what agencies or subject matters OPEGA will review, receives the results of OPEGA’s reviews and takes action as necessary. To prevent it from being used as a tool for one party or another for political reasons it has 12 members, six from each party. It also has six senators and six members from the House.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” Senator Diamond said. “The committee is doing a lot of interesting work right now, and I am always glad to do what I can to help the government work more efficiently and with increased openness and transparency.”
This is a crucial time for the Committee given the especially sensitive and controversial matters it is facing. The Committee is currently working on issues involving the Maine Turnpike Authority and a sale of land to a prison warden, both of which raise serious ethical and legal questions. Senator Diamond is particularly well suited for these tasks, as he has several terms on the Transportation Committee, was Senate Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee for four years and served for two years as Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
Other Committee members were pleased with the appointment as well. Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec County), the Senate Chair of the Committee, said “Senator Diamond is an excellent choice. He will bring a wide breadth of experience to the Committee. I couldn’t be happier about his appointment.”
“I am delighted that Bill has been appointed,” said Senator Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin County). “His background on the Criminal Justice, Transportation and Appropriations Committees makes him perfectly suited to serve.”
“Senator Diamond will be a real addition to the Committee,” added Senator Nancy Sullivan (D-York County). He has experience with so many areas of state government, not just in the Legislature, but through his service as Secretary of State as well.”