Massachusetts Senate Committee Leadership Established, Signaling Priorities

Massachusetts Senate Committee Leadership Established, Signaling Priorities
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Massachusetts Senate Committee Leadership Established, Signaling Priorities

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Yesterday mid-day, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg revealed his senior leadership team and announced which legislators he selected to guide the Senate’s special and standing committees.

The committee assignments give clues regarding President Rosenberg’s stance on numerous issues, while his decision to produce five special committees and add three new standing committees shows exactly what the Senate’s agenda can include for the start of the 2-year legislative cycle.

Senator Karen Spilka, a sixth-term democrat from Ashland, will require probably the most coveted and influential committee chair positions, leading the effective budget-writing Senate Methods Committee. She replaces Stephen Maker, who didn’t seek re-election, and will also be became a member of by Senator Sal DiDomenico, who’ll dominate as vice-chairman of Methods.

Senator Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield continuously chair the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy, that has jurisdiction within the exploration, exploitation and growth and development of renewable and traditional powers, the siting of one’s facilities, public utilities, wind farms, the bottle bill and much more.

Rosenberg drawn on Senator Jamie Eldridge, a steadfastly liberal Democrat, to consider over as chair from the Financial Services committee, which will help to manage the banking industry.

Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, who had been fervently skeptical of charter schools during last year’s contentious debate over charter school expansion, remains chair from the Education committee, with another senator seen instead of charter schools, Senator Patricia Jehlen, as her vice chair. That can be a seems to signal the Senate takes a stand against charter schools, Rosenberg maintains that Senator Chang-Diaz isn’t hostile to charter schools, but is searching for any “third way.”

In another telling move, Senator Rosenberg tasked Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell, who initiated action within the Legislature on Boston’s 2024 summer time Olympic bid, with chairing the economical Development and Emerging Technologies Committee within the new session.

Senate Leadership Appointments

  • Majority Leader – Harriette Chandler (D – Worcester)
  • Sen. Chandler, who had been elected in the Massachusetts House towards the Senate in 2001, formerly offered because the Senate Assistant Majority Leader.
  • President Pro Tempore – Marc Pacheco (D – Taunton)
  • Sen. Pacheco, who’s the 2nd longest serving person in the Senate, after Rosenberg, will require over for Sen. Richard Moore, who lost his bid for re-election to Republican Ryan Fattman.
  • Assistant Majority Leaders
  • Sen. Rosenberg expanded the amount of assistant majority leaders from 1 to 3, choosing the following for everyone both as Assistant Majority Leaders, so that as chairs of other Senate standing committees:
  • Cynthia Creem (D – Newton)
  • John Joyce (D – Milton)
  • Mark Montigny (D – New Bedford)
  • Majority Whip – Anthony Petruccelli (D – East Boston)
  • Sen. Petruccelli, who formerly chaired the Financial Services Committee, will join the ranks of Senate leadership.
  • Assistant Majority Whip – Kenneth Donnelly (D – Arlington)

Sen. Donnelly formerly chaired the Joint Committee on Condition Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

Special Senate Committee Appointments

The special committees the Senate created shed further light on the Senate’s goals. Special committees include:

  • Special Senate Committee on Housing, which will make recommendations to move the Commonwealth towards a sustainable housing policy that will increase access to housing for low and moderate income individuals and families, reduce homelessness and make recommendations to appropriately allocate state resources.
    • Chair Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester)
    • Vice Chair Harriette Chandler (D – Worcester)
  • Special Senate Committee on Innovative Education, which will review the current status of alternative models for delivery of education services to discuss the future of those models including sustainability and funding, and to suggest new pathways for innovative education in the Commonwealth.
  • Chair Patricia Jehlen (D – Somerville)
  • Vice Chair Barbara L’Italien (D – Dracut)

It is worth noting that Senator Patricia Jehlen, who is also vice chair of the Education committee, was skeptical of charter schools during last year’s contentious charter school debate in the Senate.

  • Special Senate Committee on Opioid Addiction, which will assess the implementation of recently passed legislation to combat opioid abuse and make further recommendations to strengthen our Commonwealth’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis with a focus on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.
    • Chair Jennifer Flanagan (D – Leominster)
  • Special Senate Committee on Marijuana, which will assess the implementation of medical marijuana and examine the issue of marijuana legalization in other states and make recommendations for the Senate regarding any legalization or ballot initiative on the subject.The creation of this commission is timely, as advocates are considering attempting to put a question to legalize majijuana on the 2016 ballot.
  • Chair Jason Lewis (D – Winchester)
  • Chair Brian Joyce (D – Milton)
  • Vice Chair Bruce Tarr (R – Gloucester)
  • Special Senate Committee on Government Expenditures, Performance and Accountability, which will examine and evaluate government spending across all public agencies, quasi-public agencies and municipalities throughout the Commonwealth to assess existing finances, systems and procedures and seek to identify measures that will result in savings and efficiencies, improved performance and enhanced outcomes.

Senate Standing Committees Appointments

Click committee name to see additional members.

Ways and Means – Chair Karen Spilka (D – Ashland)

  • Jehlen – AVC
  • DiDomenico
  • Brownsberger
  • Chang-Diaz
  • Donnelly
  • Donoghue
  • Downing
  • Keenan
  • Kennedy
  • McGee
  • Moore
  • Petruccelli
  • Rush
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Rules – Chair Mark Montigny (D – New Bedford)

  • Creem – Vice
  • Chandler
  • Spilka

» VIEW

Ethics– Chair Cynthia Creem (D – Newton)

  • Brownsberger – Vice
  • Chandler
  • DiDomenico

» VIEW

Bills in Third Reading – Chair Brian Joyce (D – Milton)

  • Petruccelli – Vice
  • Donoghue
  • Downing

» VIEW

Post Audit & Oversight – Chair Michael Barrett (D – Lexington)

  • Downing – Vice
  • Lewis
  • Moore
  • Welch

» VIEW

Steering & Policy – Chair Daniel Wolf (D – Harwich)

  • Lewis – Vice
  • Chang-Diaz
  • O’Connor Ives

» VIEW

Bonding, Capital Expenditures & State Assets – Chair John Keenan (D – Quincy)

  • Chang-Diaz – Vice
  • Donnelly
  • Donoghue
  • Moore

» VIEW

Global Warming – Chair Marc Pacheco (D – Taunton)

  • Eldridge – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Downing
  • McGee

» VIEW

Children’s Caucus – Chair Thomas McGee (D – Lynn)

Intergovernmental Affairs* – Chair Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester)

  • L’Italien – Vice
  • Gobi
  • Moore
  • Rodrigues

» VIEW

Redistricting* – Chair Benjamin Downing (D – Pittsfield)

  • Joyce – Vice
  • Chang-Diaz
  • L’Italien
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Personnel & Administration* – Chair Michael Rush (D – West Roxbury)

  • O’Connor Ives – Vice
  • Donnelly
  • Donoghue
  • Pacheco

» VIEW

*Newly created Senate standing committee

Senate Joint Standing Committee Appointments

Financial Services – Chair Jamie Eldridge (D – Acton)

  • Lesser – Vice
  • Keenan
  • O’Connor Ives
  • Rodrigues

» VIEW

Higher Education – Chair Michael Moore (D – Millbury)

  • Donoghue – Vice
  • Downing
  • L’Italien
  • O’Connor Ives

» VIEW

Children & Families – Chair Jennifer Flanagan (D – Leominster)

  • Lovely – Vice
  • Chang-Diaz
  • Keenan
  • Lewis

» VIEW

Economic Development & Emerging Technologies – Chair Eileen Donoghue (D – Lowell)

  • Gobi – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Keenan
  • Lesser
  • McGee

» VIEW

Mental Health & Substance Abuse – Chair Jennifer Flanagan (D – Leominster)

  • Lovely – Vice
  • Donnelly
  • Dorcena Forry
  • Eldridge

» VIEW

Public Health – Chair Jason Lewis (D – Winchester)

  • Flanagan – Vice
  • Lesser
  • Lovely
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Education – Chair Sonia Chang-Diaz (D – Boston)

  • Jehlen – Vice
  • Dorcena Forry
  • Lewis
  • L’Italien

» VIEW

Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy – Chair Benjamin Downing (D – Pittsfield)

  • Pacheco – Vice
  • Gobi
  • Joyce
  • Wolf

» VIEW

Judiciary – Chair William Brownsberger (D – Belmont)

  • Keenan – Vice
  • Chang-Diaz
  • Creem
  • Jehlen

» VIEW

Housing – Chair Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester)

  • Keenan – Vice
  • Chandler
  • Gobi
  • Jehlen

» VIEW

State Administration & Regulatory Oversight – Chair Joan Lovely (D – Salem)

  • Eldridge – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Keenan
  • Rodrigues

» VIEW

Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture – Chair Anne Gobi (D – Spencer)

  • Rush – Vice
  • Eldridge
  • McGee
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Public Safety & Homeland Security – Chair James Timilty (D – Walpole)

  • Moore – Vice
  • Chang-Diaz
  • Flanagan
  • Welch

» VIEW

Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development – Chair Eric Lesser (D – Longmeadow)

  • Downing – Vice
  • Eldridge
  • Lovely
  • Wolf

» VIEW

Public Service – Chair James Timilty (D – Walpole)

  • Rodrigues – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Donnelly
  • Kennedy

» VIEW

Revenue – Chair Michael Rodrigues (D – Westport)

  • Timilty – Vice
  • Downing
  • Lesser
  • Wolf

» VIEW

Community Development & Small Businesses – Chair Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D – Newburyport)

  • Rush – Vice
  • L’Italien
  • Rodrigues
  • Wolf

» VIEW

Elder Affairs – Chair Patricia Jehlen (D – Somerville)

  • L’Italien – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Gobi
  • Lesser

» VIEW

Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure – Chair Thomas Kennedy (D – Brockton)

  • Petruccelli – Vice
  • O’Connor Ives
  • Rodrigues
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Municipalities & Regional Government – Chair Barbara L’Italien (D – Dracut)

  • Lovely – Vice
  • Brownsberger
  • Donoghue
  • Timilty

» VIEW

Election Laws – Chair Thomas Kennedy (D – Brockton)

  • Donnelly – Vice
  • Brownsberger
  • DiDomenico
  • Welch

» VIEW

Transportation – Chair Thomas McGee (D – Lynn)

  • Keenan – Vice
  • Donoghue
  • Dorcena Forry
  • Lesser
  • Rush

» VIEW

Health Care Financing – Chair James Welch (D – West Springfield)

  • Montigny – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Dorcena Forry
  • Joyce
  • L’Italien

» VIEW

Labor & Workforce Development – Chair Daniel Wolf (D – Harwich)

  • Barrett – Vice
  • Donoghue
  • Lewis
  • Moore

» VIEW

Veterans & Federal Affairs – Chair Michael Rush (D – West Roxbury)

  • Kennedy – Vice
  • Barrett
  • Gobi
  • Lesser

» VIEW

The Commonwealth’s leadership has seen more change in the past few weeks than it has at any one time in the past eight years, as both the new Governor and the new Senate President fill out their leadership ranks. ML Strategies recently provided an analysis of Governor Baker’s new administration, and will continue to provide updates as Beacon Hill adjusts to its fresh political situation.

 

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