Gov.-elect Dan Malloy announced Tuesday that he would be appointing Democratic state Rep. Deborah Heinrich to a new cabinet-level position within his administration where she will advocate on behalf of nonprofit providers.

Malloy spoke about the necessity for such a position in 2009 when he asked the legislature to take up the Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet Bill, according to a press release by his administration. That bill was passed by both the House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the statement said.

Now, only a day before he is to be sworn in as governor, Malloy has appointed Heinrich to the position, which will operate at “the same level as commissioner of a state agency,” the statement said.

“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. “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. 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.”

Heinrich, who has served three terms in the House representing Madison and Guilford, has worked on behalf of the nonprofit community in the past. In 2007 she received both the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits Legislative Award and the Connecticut Community Providers Legislative Award for her efforts, the statement said.

“We cannot allow the difficult budget situation we face to decimate the services provided to those people in Connecticut who need them the most,” Heinrich said. “This will be a challenge, no doubt about it, but I’m looking forward to working with Governor-Elect Malloy and others in his administration to preserve the safety net and provide services, while reducing the cost to taxpayers.”

In accepting Malloy’s appointment, Heinrich becomes the fifth lawmaker who will not be taking the oath of office tomorrow based on executive appointments, and will need to be replaced by special election.

Heinrich studied at Emory University where she received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.