Senate names new co-chairs for Higher Ed, Planning & Development

The ripple effect of Sen. Toni Harp’s election as New Haven mayor continued Thursday with the Senate Democratic leadership naming new Senate co-chairs of two committees: Higher Education & Employment Advancement, and Planning & Development.

Sen. Steven Cassano of Manchester will take over at Higher Education, succeeding Sen. Beth Bye of West Hartford. Bye was previously named the new co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, succeeding Harp. Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague will succeed Cassano at Planning & Development.

The moves leave a vacancy on the Labor and Public Employees Committee, which had been headed by Osten.

Cassano and Osten were vice chairs on the committees they now will lead, and each has a deep interest in their committee’s areas of cognizance: Cassano is a former sociology professor at Manchester Community College, and Osten is the recently re-elected first selectman of Sprague.