Sen. Downing Tapped For Second Chairmanship

Staff ReportsPrint Story | Email Story
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.
1 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

South County Programs, State Park Fund Secured for FY2020

LENOX, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli says some $350,000 has been procured through his efforts in the state's 2020 budget for programs in his 4th Berkshire District, including the Berkshire Youth Development Project, Greenagers, and Community Access to the Arts.
 
"BYDP, CATA, and Greenagers do so much good work in the Southern Berkshires, adding real value to our communities in terms of positive youth development, environmental advocacy, and special needs integration," said Pignatelli. "I wanted to make sure we highlighted these organizations through the state budget to put an emphasis on some of the best qualities the Berkshires have to offer to our commonwealth."
 
Funded at $43.1 billion, H. 4000 makes major investments in education, housing, substance use disorder services, health care, and other areas while projecting a more than $476 million deposit into the Stabilization Fund – bringing the fund's balance to more than $3 billion to safeguard the future of vital programs and services.
 
The Berkshire Youth Development Project line item, funded to Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP) in Great Barrington, has been a Pignatelli priority for the past several budgets, supporting the collaboration between RSYP in South County, Berkshire United Way in Pittsfield, and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in North Adams to prevent drug dependency and promote positive youth development for a smoother transition to adulthood.
View Full Story

More South Berkshire Stories