Barrett to Chair Senate’s Oversight Committee

Press Release

State State Senator Mike Barrett has been selected to head the State Senate’s Post-Audit and Oversight Committee, a unique body charged with overseeing implementation of all state programs run by the Governor and his appointees.

“This is a huge chance to shape policy for the district and the entire state,” Barrett said. “It means digging deep into how government operates day to day — and how it can do better. I’m honored and challenged by the assignment.”

Alone among Senate committees, Audit and Oversight has the power to issue subpoenas to aid in investigations. Barrett is a specialist in healthcare and information technology and is an attorney. His appointment to the post is part of an effort by Stan Rosenberg, the State Senate’s new President, to elevate the branch’s effectiveness on matters of program and policy.

In 2013-2014, Senate Post-Audit and Oversight examined the state’s unemployment system and its high-profile failures running computer projects and websites. Its earlier inquiries have ranged from child asthma to homeland security to state climate change policies.

Barrett recently served as Senate Chair of the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, charged with shaping policy on programs to help poor women, abused and neglected kids, troubled teens and people with physical and intellectual challenges. Barrett said he hopes to carry a special concern for human services into his new role.

In addition to chairing Post-Audit and Oversight, Barrett will again serve as vice-Chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, key to the state’s job training and economic growth initiatives.

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