Sen. Downing Tapped For Second Chairmanship

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Sen. Benjamin B. Downing
BOSTON, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, was appointed to chair the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy for the remainder of the legislative session.

The committee assists Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, in prioritizing matters to be considered by the General Court. Downing was appointed by Murray on Thursday afternoon.

"I am very happy to appoint Senator Downing as chairman of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy," Murray said in a statement released on Friday. "He showed great prowess and leadership in getting comprehensive energy reforms passed in the Senate, and I know he will take on this additional responsibility with his usual determination and strong work ethic to help me and the entire Senate identify and prioritize matters important to the Legislature and to the citizens of our Commonwealth."

This is the sixth total chairmanship Downing has since his first term in 2007. He is currently chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which he will continue to be. Previously he's been chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service, Committee on Ethics and Rules, Joint Committee on Revenue and acting chairman of the Joint  Committee on Higher Education.

"I am grateful for the opportunity and privilege to assist Senate leadership as chair of the Steering and Policy Committee," Downing said in the statement. "With approximately 12 weeks remaining in the formal legislative session, it is an honor to have a seat at the table when discussing which bills should be given priority attention by the Senate and scheduled for debate and consideration."

Formal legislative sessions will conclude at midnight on Tuesday, July 31.
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