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She was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1976, and served there from 1977 until 1987. She had major legislative successes on a number of critical environmental issues. She took the lead in drafting and implementing Connecticut's coastal management laws that protect coastline and valuable resources. She served on Connecticut's water supply task force and led the fight to assure safe drinking water in Connecticut. She played an active role in the development of Connecticut's hazardous waste management service and was instrumental in realigning and reforming the state's Resource Recovery Authority.
In 1986 she chose not to seek re-election to her seat in order to seek the 1986 Republican nomination for governor. After becoming the Republican nominee, she lost the November election to the popular Democratic Governor William A. O'Neill.
In 1990 Belaga was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as Region 1 (New England) Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She was later appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Export-Import Bank.
- Mullaney, Marie Marmo (1994). Biographical directory of the governors of the United States, 1988-1994. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 63–. ISBN 9780313283123. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
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