Christine Stuart photo
Speaker of the House James Amann, D-Milford, announced the appointment of Committee Chairs and Democratic caucus leaders one day before the start of the 2007 legislative session. He said Tuesday that he tried to be as fair as he could in making the appointments. Some legislators left or moved up, but none of the legislators were stripped of their chairmanship “for non-performance,” and appointments were made based on seniority, he said. A much different scenario than two years ago when Amann was elected for the first time to Speaker by his legislative colleagues.
Two years state Rep. Bill Dyson, D-New Haven, challenged Amann for the speaker’s position and lost. It cost Dyson his 16-year chairmanship on the appropriations committee.While Dyson didn’t win back his chairmanship this year he maintained his position as one of 18 assistant majority leaders. The bitter feelings Amann had for Dyson two years ago have seemed to fade. “We need Bill, he’s our number one guy as far as tenure here,” Amann said. Most of the other wounds have healed. Amann said of the 23 Dyson supporters about 21 are now part of the caucus leadership. “There are still a couple of individuals I need to work on relationships with,” he admitted. The biggest surprise was the appointment of state Rep. Diana Urban to vice-chairman of the General Administration and Elections Committee. Urban changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat after being re-elected in November. “She’s been a friend of the caucus for a long time,” Amann said. He said no one in the caucus had any hard feelings about the appointment and he was certain Urban and GAE Chairman Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, would work well together. “Maybe Diana can help settle him down,” Amann joked. Here is a complete list of the House chairmanships:Select Committee on AgingJoseph Serra, ChairDavid Aldarondo, Vice ChairAppropriations CommitteeDenise Merrill, ChairDeborah Heinrich, Vice ChairErnest Hewett, Vice ChairBanks CommitteeRyan Barry, ChairDouglas McCrory, Vice ChairSelect Committee on ChildrenFaith McMahon, ChairJoe Mioli, Vice ChairCommerce CommitteeJeff Berger, ChairLinda Gentile, Vice ChairEducation CommitteeAndrew Fleischmann, ChairHenry Genga, Vice ChairEnergy & Technology CommitteeSteve Fontana, ChairVickie Nardello, Vice ChairEnvironment CommitteeRichard Roy, ChairPaul Davis, Vice ChairExecutive & Legislative Nominations CommitteeClaire Janowski, ChairSandy Nafis, Vice ChairFinance, Revenue & Bonding CommitteeCameron Staples, ChairChristopher Perone, Vice ChairJim Shapiro, Vice ChairRobert Keeley, General Bonding ChairDavid McCluskey, Transportation Bonding ChairGeneral Law CommitteeChristopher Stone, ChairEd Jutila, Vice ChairGovernment Administration & Elections CommitteeChristopher Caruso, ChairDiana Urban, Vice ChairHigher Education Committee and Employment AdvancementRoberta Willis, ChairJuan Candelaria, Vice ChairSelect Committee on HousingKenneth P. Green, ChairHuman Services CommitteePeter F. Villano, ChairCathy Abercrombie, Vice ChairInsurance & Real Estate CommitteeBrian O’Connor, ChairCharles “Don” Clemons, Vice ChairInternship CommitteeKathy Tallarita, ChairJudiciary CommitteeMichael P. Lawlor, ChairGerald Fox, Vice ChairLabor & Public Employees CommitteeKevin Ryan, ChairBruce “Zeke” Zalaski, Vice ChairJoint Committee on Legislative ManagementJames Amann, ChairChristopher Donovan, Vice ChairPlanning & Development CommitteeArt Feltman, ChairJack Hennessy, Vice ChairProgram Review & Investigations CommitteeMary Mushinsky, Ranking MemberPublic Health CommitteePeggy Sayers, ChairBetsy Ritter, Vice ChairPublic Safety CommitteeStephen D. Dargan, ChairTom Reynolds, Vice ChairRegulations Review CommitteeCarlo Leone, ChairTransportation CommitteeTony Guerrera, ChairSteve Mikutel, Vice ChairVeterans Affairs CommitteeTed Graziani, ChairJoe Aresimowicz, Vice ChairOn Wednesday the House and Senate will convene at 10 a.m. to be sworn in and discuss the rules for the next legislative session. The session begins Wednesday, Jan. 3 and runs through June 6. Gov. M. Jodi Rell will be sworn in at 2 p.m. following the inaugural parade through the streets of downtown Hartford. Wednesday’s events will conclude with the governor’s inaugural ball at the Connecticut Expo Center. Amann said he is attending both the governor’s swearing in ceremony and the ball.