- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Gov. Gina Raimondo met with her Cabinet on Tuesday for the first time to explain her vision for her administration.

She said after the private meeting that she discussed ways to create jobs for Rhode Islanders and opportunities for all families. She asked for ideas on how state agencies can train people, attract businesses and make it easier to do business in Rhode Island.

Afterward, Raimondo hosted a reception for the attendees and members of the General Assembly. Several legislators said it was the first time a governor had invited them to an informal gathering to meet agency directors so they could get to know one another.

“As governor I am totally committed to working with the General Assembly and I wanted to make sure that the members had a chance to come in and express their concerns,” Raimondo said.

Rep. Joy Hearn said the event set a tone of inclusion and openness. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said it’s always helpful to build relationships and he appreciated Raimondo making the directors available.

Charles Fogarty, Raimondo’s nominee to lead the elderly affairs division, said the governor understands it’s important to have a good working relationship with legislators. Fogarty, the outgoing director of labor and training, previously served as the lieutenant governor and as a state senator. He also couldn’t recall a similar event in past administrations.

“It’s a great start to an energetic administration,” he said. “I hope it will lead to good things for all Rhode Islanders in the coming session.”

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