BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) was named Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy and chairman of the new Senate Committee on Redistricting by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D- Amherst) for the 2015-2016 legislative session.
Downing has chaired the Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy (TUE) Committee since 2011. The panel is charged with reviewing all legislative proposals regarding renewable and non-renewable energy sources in the Commonwealth.
Downing’s second chairmanship, the Senate Committee on Redistricting, is a new standing committee created by Senate President Rosenberg. The Committee will begin its efforts now, a session ahead of the next decennial Census in order to maintain a continued focus on ensuring the Commonwealth’s population estimates are accurate. This data is important because it influences how much federal funding Massachusetts receives from the federal government when formula-driven funding uses Census data.
President Rosenberg also asked Downing to continue his vice-chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, serve as the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Post Audit & Oversight and maintain his active membership on the powerful Senate Committee on Ways & Means.
This session Downing will also serve as a member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education; the Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading; the Senate Committee on Global Warming & Climate Change; and the Joint Committee on Revenue.
Additionally, Downing serves as the Senate chairman of the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus and is an active participant of the Caucus on Regional Schools and the Caucus on Regional Transit Authorities.
Committee descriptions are available on the General Court’s website (malegislature.gov).