Looney makes wholesale changes in Senate committee co-chairs
With the departure of five senators, Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, took the opportunity Tuesday to change the leadership of more than a dozen committees, effective next month on the opening day of the 2015 session.
Looney’s own job will change on opening day as he succeeds the retiring Sen. Donald E. Williams Jr. as president pro tem, the chamber’s top leader. Democrats lost one seat in the November election, but they will control the Senate, 21 to 15.
Ted Kennedy Jr. of Branford, the best-known among the four incoming freshman Democrats, will be the co-chair of the Environment Committee. The other freshman assignments: Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport, Human Services; Tim Larson of East Hartford, Public Safety and Security; Mae Flexer of Killingly will lead two committees, Aging and Veterans Affairs.
The Senate leadership of the three highest-profile committees — Appropriations, Finance and Judiciary — remains unchanged.
Sens. Flexer, Andres Ayala Jr., Dante Bartolomeo, John Fonfara and Gary Winfield will lead two panels, since there are more committees than Democrats. Kennedy also will have two assignments, but the second, the Internship Committee, does not oversee legislation.
Senators are paid a minimum of $33,500 annually: $28,000 in salary and $5,500 in additional compensation for expenses, whether they are incurred or not. Legislative salaries have not increased in 13 years.
But all senators get additional stipends as committee co-chairs or other leadership posts. Committee co-chairs get additional pay of $4,241.
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, announced the House co-chairs last week.
The General Assembly has joint committees with a co-chair from the Senate and House. The Democratic majority controls every chairmanship with two exceptions: the Regulation Review and the Program Review and Investigations committees are bipartisan panels.
|Committee||House Co-chair||Senate Co-chair|
|Aging||Joseph Serra||Mae Flexer|
|Appropriations||Toni Walker||Beth Bye|
|Banks||Matt Lesser||Carlo Leone|
|Children||Diana Urban||Dante Bartolomeo|
|Commerce||Chris Perone||Joan Hartley|
|Education||Andrew Fleischmann||Gayle Slossberg|
|Energy & Technology||Lonnie Reed||Paul Doyle|
|Environment||James Albis||Ted Kennedy Jr.|
|Executive & Legislative Nominations||Claire Janowski||Bob Duff|
|Finance, Revenue and Bonding||Jeffrey Berger||John Fonfara|
|General Law||David Baram||Andres Ayala Jr.|
|Government Administration and Elections||Ed Jutila||Steve Cassano|
|Higher Education & Employment Advancement||Roberta Willis||Dante Bartolomeo|
|Housing||Larry Butler||Gary Winfield|
|Human Services||Cathy Abercrombie||Marilyn Moore|
|Insurance & Real Estate||Robert Megna||Joe Crisco|
|Internship||Theresa Conroy||Ted Kennedy Jr.|
|Judiciary||William Tong||Eric Coleman|
|Labor & Public Employees||Peter Tercyak||Gary Winfield|
|Legislative Management||Brendan Sharkey||Martin Looney|
|Planning & Development||Auden Grogins||Cathy Osten|
|Program Review & Investigations||Mary Mushinsky*||John Fonfara|
|Public Health||Matthew Ritter||Terry Gerratana|
|Public Safety & Security||Stephen Dargan||Tim Larson|
|Regulation Review||Brian Becker||Andres Ayala Jr.*|
|Transportation||Antonio Guerrera||Andrew Maynard|
|Veterans’ Affairs||Jack Hennessy||Mae Flexer|
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