Boston- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) will tackle tough and timely issues as he takes on his new assignment as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Revenue during the 2009-2010 legislative session. Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) released her Leadership assignments yesterday, in which Downing retained his Vice Chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and was appointed to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means - the powerful panel which considers all matters relating to the finances of the Commonwealth - and the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
“I appreciate the confidence Senate President Murray has shown in appointing me as Senate Chair of the Revenue Committee, Vice Chair of Higher Education and member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means,” said Downing. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Berkshire delegation from these new positions to address the needs of the 48 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin District.”
The Joint Committee on Revenue considers all matters concerning Federal financial assistance, state fees, the raising of revenue for the Commonwealth by means of taxation, as well as certain matters relating to local property taxation. With revenue and tax issues an immediate focal point for federal, state and local officials, Downing, with newly-assigned House Chairman Representative Jay Kaufman (D- Lexington), will likely consider legislation and engage in policy issues addressing the state’s revenue short-falls.
Downing will continue his membership on the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs this term as well.
This is Downing’s third chairmanship in the Senate. His first two leadership roles, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service and Chairman of the Senate Ethics and Rules Committee, afforded him the opportunity to vet and make recommendations on many important policy initiatives, helping to make his freshman term a success. Downing and Kaufman have partnered in the past; they served together as co-chairs of the Public Service Committee in 2007.