Heinrich to quit House for new post in Malloy administration

Rep. Deborah W. Heinrich, D-Madison, who was an early supporter of Dan Malloy’s campaign for governor, was named today by the governor-elect to a cabinet-level position that doesn’t yet exist — to lead a Community Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet.

“I have been clear that getting our fiscal house in order will require a shared sacrifice on all our parts, but I’ve been equally clear that I will not cut the safety net,” Malloy said in an emailed press release. “Engaging the nonprofit community in a concerted, strategic way to maximize services and minimize cost will be a large part of the way in which we do this.”

The new position runs counter to Malloy’s campaign pledge to cut gubernatorial appointments by 15 percent, but Malloy cast the job as a potential money-saver.

“Representative Heinrich has been an advocate for those who need our help the most and I’ll be looking to her to find ways in which the services people need can be provided at a lower cost to taxpayers,” he said.

Heinrich was elected to the legislature in 2004 from a Republican district that the GOP will have hopes of recapturing. The seat will be filled by one of eight special elections likely to be held in March.

She is the fifth legislator tapped by Malloy to join his administration. In addition, two others are quitting for other jobs and Sen. Thomas Gaffey announced yesterday he is resigning in the wake of facing misdemeanor larceny charges.

Malloy’s window for hiring legislators is fast closing. Once they take the oath of office for their new terms tomorow, they are barred from taking a job in another branch of government for two years.