Senate Democrats announced new leadership assignments for nearly a dozen legislative committees Friday as leaders in the Connecticut General Assembly continue the complicated process of reshuffling the legislature ahead of the 2023 session beginning next month.
In an afternoon press release, Senate President Martin Looney and Majority Leader Bob Duff announced their caucus’s committee assignments. They included 11 new committee chairs representing changes driven by recent retirements and newly elected members.
“We are very excited to announce the Senate Chairs and Vice Chairs for the 2023 and 2024 General Assembly sessions,” Duff and Looney said. “Our Democratic State Senators bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their committees. We look forward to another productive term for the benefit of the people of Connecticut.”
Committees with new Senate chairs include Aging, where recently elected Sen. Jan Hochadel, D-Meriden, will take over from Sen. Pat Billie Miller, D-Stamford, who will retain her other chairmanship post on the Banking Committee.
On the Children’s Committee, incoming Sen. Ceci Maher, D-Wilton, will take the reins from Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor. Anwar, a physician, will become chair of the Public Health Committee, a post being vacated by retiring Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams, D-Meriden.
Chairmanship of the Environment Committee will change hands from Sen. Christine Cohen, D-Guilford, to Sen. Rick Lopes, D-New Britain.
One change sets off a domino cascade of others.
Cohen will take over as Senate chair of the Transportation Committee from Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport, who did not seek re-election. Lopes, meanwhile, will hand off leadership of the Housing Committee to Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport.
Moore will leave her post as current chair of the Human Services Committee to Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown. Lesser’s current spot as chair of the Insurance Committee will be filled by Sen. Jorge Cabrera, D-Hamden. And Cabrera will hand chairmanship of the Veterans Committee to newcomer Sen. Martha Marx, D-New London.
Newly elected Sen. MD Rahman, D-Manchester, will serve as co-chair of the Planning and Development Committee, a post previously occupied by retiring Sen. Steve Cassano.
Finally, first-term Sen. Herron Gaston, D-Bridgeport, will become Senate chair of the Public Safety Committee, which was previously chaired by Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, who will continue to be co-chair of the Appropriations Committee.
Meanwhile, House Republicans announced which legislators will serve as the ranking members on the various committees. Those assignments included turnover on the Appropriations Committee, where Rep. Tammy Nuccio, R-Tolland, will take over for Rep. Mike France, R-Ledyard, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress rather than seek re-election.
Other new ranking member assignments include Rep. Pat Callahan, R-New Fairfield, on the Environment Committee; Rep. Kathy Kennedy, R-Milford, on the Transportation Committee; Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria, R-Seymour, on the Public Health Committee; and Rep. Bill Buckbee, R-New Milford, on the Energy Committee.
Further changes to ranking member assignments include Rep. Tim Ackert, R-Coventry, on the Labor Committee; Rep. Cindy Harrison, R-Southbury, on the Commerce Committee; Rep. Tony Scott, R-Monroe, on the Housing Committee; Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, R-Newtown, on the Aging Committee; and Rep. David Yaccarino, R-North Haven, on the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee.
In a press release, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said his caucus included lawmakers with diverse talents.
“Our team of Ranking Members blends individuals who have served in that capacity in the past with those who are stepping up to take on these crucial leadership roles,” Candelora said. “I’m confident they will be meaningful contributors in our ongoing effort to enact sound public policy focused on affordability and enhancing the quality of life our state offers.”
House Democrats have been announcing committee chair assignments in a series of short releases since late November.
On Thursday, House Speaker Matt Ritter and Majority Leader Jason Rojas continued that trend that included a new Education Committee co-chair, Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford, a new Planning and Development co-chair, Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw, D-Avon, a new Commerce Committee co-chair, Rep. Steve Meskers, D-Greenwich, and a new co-chair on the bipartisan Regulation Review Committee, Rep. Lucy Dathan, D-Norwalk.