Cranston resident becomes the first female lieutenant governor in state history
PROVIDENCE — Elizabeth H. Roberts (D-Cranston) was sworn in as the 68th lieutenant governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Tuesday, making history as the first female elected to the position. A champion of healthcare issues, Roberts is also the highest ranking woman elected to statewide office. The 106th Inauguration took place on the South Lawn of the Rhode Island State House.
“My inauguration was both an exciting and humbling experience for me,” Roberts said. “The people of Rhode Island have placed great faith in me and I am eager to begin serving our state. I look forward to taking on the challenges we face and addressing the tremendous opportunities we have to build a healthy and strong Rhode Island.”
Roberts has already taken the reins of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council as its chairwoman and, by statute, becomes the chairwoman of the Small Business Advocacy Council and the Emergency Management Advisory Council. Roberts looks forward to keeping her campaign promise to develop a review proposal for expanding biomedical research, specifically embryonic stem cell research in Rhode Island.
Last month, Roberts, Governor Donald Carcieri and the leadership of the General Assembly introduced requirements for a healthcare wellness package for small businesses and individuals to lower the cost of health insurance. The five-term state senator, former chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services committee and the former co-chairwoman of the Permanent Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight will continue her focus on increasing access to affordable healthcare for all Rhode Islanders.
Roberts was joined by her husband Thomas Roberts, their daughters Kathleen and Nora, and other family members on the dais for the swearing-in. Her husband held the Roberts’ family Bible, which had been used at the swearing in of her late father-in-law Thomas Roberts as chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, her husband’s uncle, the late Dennis Roberts, as mayor of Providence and governor of Rhode Island, and at the inauguration of her brother-in-law Dennis Roberts as attorney general in 1978.