Ways and Means – Chair Karen Spilka (D – Ashland)
- Jehlen – AVC
Yesterday afternoon, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg revealed his senior leadership team and announced which legislators he selected to lead the Senate’s special and standing committees.
The committee assignments give clues as to President Rosenberg’s stance on a number of issues, while his decision to create five special committees and add three new standing committees hints at what the Senate’s agenda may include for the beginning of the two-year legislative cycle.
Senator Karen Spilka, a sixth-term democrat from Ashland, will take one of the most coveted and influential committee chair positions, leading the powerful budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee. She replaces Stephen Brewer, who did not seek re-election, and will be joined by Senator Sal DiDomenico, who will take over as vice-chairman of Ways and Means.
Senator Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield will continue to chair the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy, which has jurisdiction over the exploration, exploitation and development of renewable and conventional energy sources, the siting of energy facilities, public utilities, wind farms, the bottle bill and more.
Rosenberg tapped Senator Jamie Eldridge, a steadfastly liberal Democrat, to take over as chair of the Financial Services committee, which helps to regulate the banking industry.
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, who was fervently skeptical of charter schools during last year’s contentious debate over charter school expansion, remains chair of the Education committee, with another senator seen as opposed to charter schools, Senator Patricia Jehlen, as her vice chair. While that appears to signal that the Senate is taking a stand against charter schools, Rosenberg maintains that Senator Chang-Diaz is not hostile to charter schools, but is looking for a “third way.”
In another telling move, Senator Rosenberg tasked Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell, who initiated action in the Legislature on Boston’s 2024 summer Olympic bid, with chairing the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee in the new session.
Senate Leadership Appointments
Special Senate Committee Appointments
The special committees the Senate created shed further light on the Senate’s goals. Special committees include:
Senate Standing Committees Appointments
Click committee name to see additional members.
Ways and Means – Chair Karen Spilka (D – Ashland)
Rules – Chair Mark Montigny (D – New Bedford)
Ethics– Chair Cynthia Creem (D – Newton)
Bills in Third Reading – Chair Brian Joyce (D – Milton)
Post Audit & Oversight – Chair Michael Barrett (D – Lexington)
Steering & Policy – Chair Daniel Wolf (D – Harwich)
Bonding, Capital Expenditures & State Assets – Chair John Keenan (D – Quincy)
Global Warming – Chair Marc Pacheco (D – Taunton)
Children’s Caucus – Chair Thomas McGee (D – Lynn)
Intergovernmental Affairs* – Chair Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester)
Redistricting* – Chair Benjamin Downing (D – Pittsfield)
Personnel & Administration* – Chair Michael Rush (D – West Roxbury)
*Newly created Senate standing committee
Senate Joint Standing Committee Appointments
Financial Services – Chair Jamie Eldridge (D – Acton)
Higher Education – Chair Michael Moore (D – Millbury)
Children & Families – Chair Jennifer Flanagan (D – Leominster)
Economic Development & Emerging Technologies – Chair Eileen Donoghue (D – Lowell)
Mental Health & Substance Abuse – Chair Jennifer Flanagan (D – Leominster)
Public Health – Chair Jason Lewis (D – Winchester)
Education – Chair Sonia Chang-Diaz (D – Boston)
Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy – Chair Benjamin Downing (D – Pittsfield)
Judiciary – Chair William Brownsberger (D – Belmont)
Housing – Chair Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester)
State Administration & Regulatory Oversight – Chair Joan Lovely (D – Salem)
Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture – Chair Anne Gobi (D – Spencer)
Public Safety & Homeland Security – Chair James Timilty (D – Walpole)
Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development – Chair Eric Lesser (D – Longmeadow)
Public Service – Chair James Timilty (D – Walpole)
Revenue – Chair Michael Rodrigues (D – Westport)
Community Development & Small Businesses – Chair Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D – Newburyport)
Elder Affairs – Chair Patricia Jehlen (D – Somerville)
Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure – Chair Thomas Kennedy (D – Brockton)
Municipalities & Regional Government – Chair Barbara L’Italien (D – Dracut)
Election Laws – Chair Thomas Kennedy (D – Brockton)
Transportation – Chair Thomas McGee (D – Lynn)
Health Care Financing – Chair James Welch (D – West Springfield)
Labor & Workforce Development – Chair Daniel Wolf (D – Harwich)
Veterans & Federal Affairs – Chair Michael Rush (D – West Roxbury)
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.