Appleton elected vice chair of human services committee

State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, was elected vice chairwoman of the state House of Representatives’ Health and Human Services Appropriations and Oversight Committee, responsible for the oversight and budget recommendations for health and human services programs.

Apple-ton, who also represents Silver-dale and portions of East Bremerton, said one of her top priorities will be to protect Bremerton’s Frances Haddon Morgan Center, according to a statement. Gov. Chris Gregoire listed the facility for closure in the revised 2011 state budget that runs through the end of June this year.

The residential habilitation center for severely autistic people was on the chopping block last year, but was saved in the final days of the session when Appleton fought to restore its $1 million in state funding.

“I’ll continue fighting to preserve basic human services,” Appleton said in the statement. “When our resources are as limited as they are today, it’s more important than ever to be sure they’re being used in the most effective, efficient way.”

Appleton retains her assignment as vice chairwoman of the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee. The session begins Jan. 10.

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