- Associated Press - Friday, April 5, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have confirmed Gov. Pete Ricketts’ appointee to lead the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Lawmakers voted 38-0 on Friday in favor of Dannette Smith as the department’s new chief executive officer.

Smith has more than 25 years of executive leadership experience and most recently served as director of the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services, a position she held since 2013.

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Lawmakers praised Smith for her willingness to listen seriously to their concerns about the state’s social services.

Sen. Sara Howard, chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee, says Smith has “hit the ground running” in her new role and urged lawmakers to support the confirmation.

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