BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) is pleased to announce that he will serve as Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy during the 2011-2012 legislative session.
"I am grateful for the opportunity and privilege to serve as Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee,” said Downing. “Whether it's working to provide access to broadband internet, transition to a clean energy economy, or ensure utility companies deliver affordable and reliable service, the Committee’s jurisdiction has a profound impact on the 48 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin District, along with the rest of Massachusetts. I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to move forward on these issues - and many others - that come before us this session."
The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee is tasked with reviewing all matters concerning the exploration, exploitation and development of energy sources, such as coal, gas, oil, nuclear fusion, solar rays, wind, tidal movement, etc. The Committee also has jurisdiction over proposals regarding the siting of energy facilities, public utilities, the bottle bill and other such matters as may be referred.
Senate President Therese Murray (D- Plymouth) announced Senate committee assignments yesterday during a Democratic Caucus. This session Downing will also serve as Vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and as an active member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means; the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight; the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change; and the Joint Committees on Housing; Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; and Higher Education.
“Senator Downing is one of our most outstanding young members, and he has been an integral part of our leadership team,” said Senate President Murray. “He brings great passion and commitment to the job, and I know he will do great work in his new committee assignment.”
This is Downing’s fifth chairmanship in the Massachusetts Senate. In his first term he served as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules. Last session he served as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue and Acting Chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education.