NEWBURYPORT — When Kathleen O’Connor Ives ran for the 1st Essex District state Senate seat, one of her talking points was that as a Democrat, she could secure committee assignments that would permit her to help the district.
O’Connor Ives was recently named to lead the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, according to spokeswoman Hailey Klein.
The freshman legislator from Newburyport also will serve as vice chairwoman of a Community Development and Small Businesses Committee. She said in the release her work on both committees would dovetail well together.
During the campaign, O’Connor Ives said she stressed the strong position of the communities in the district, located all along the Merrimack River, to leverage the area’s resources to spur economic development.
In a statement yesterday, O’Connor Ives said, “Travelers spent $16.9 billion in Massachusetts in 2011. Each city and town in the 1st Essex District has a tourism economy with growth potential.
“I’m focused on expanding that success in the Merrimack Valley and communities throughout the commonwealth.”
O’Connor Ives will also serve as member of the Higher Education, Financial Services and Consumer Protection joint committees.
Since taking office Jan. 1, she said she had filed six bills by the Jan. 18 legislative filing deadline and co-sponsored 13 pieces of legislation by the Feb. 1 deadline.
Among the bills is an act protecting consumers from unsolicited loans that would prevent credit card companies from subjecting consumers to receiving “credit card checks” they never request.
“People commonly get these checks in the mail and this can easily result in identity theft and unauthorized use of credit lines,” O’Connor Ives said. “Consumers are inconvenienced with having to shred them to avoid theft and it shouldn’t be their burden. If this legislation passes, credit card companies could mail these checks only after they’re requested by the consumer.”