Legislative leaders finalized committee assignments for the current session last week, and every one of Dorchester’s elected representatives received a boost in assignments and salaries.
State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, whose district includes Dorchester, South Boston, Mattapan, and parts of Hyde Park, will serve as an assistant majority whip as well as a vice-chair on the Senate Intergovernmental Affairs committee and the Joint Committee on Housing. She has also been assigned to the joint committees on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities; Transportation; Export Development; and Marijuana Policy.
“I am honored to be appointed assistant majority whip, and I thank Senate President Stan Rosenberg for recognizing my 20-plus years of experience and my perspective as a working mom of four and the state’s only black senator,” Forry said in a statement on Tuesday.
”I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Massachu-setts is making policies to positively impact and improve the lives of working families. "Joining Senate leadership is an opportunity to help craft an agenda reflecting the needs of individuals and families from Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston and Hyde Park,” she added.
The Senate has created an additional assistant majority whip position, allowing for both Forry’s assignment and that of Sen. Joan Lovely of Salem. The position carries a $35,000 stipend that was authorized under the leadership pay raises the Legislature approved earlier this month.
According to the State House News Service, Rosenberg said the appointments of Forry and Lovely fill geographic voids in his leadership team, which has lacked a senator from Boston since Anthony Petruccelli of East Boston resigned, or a senator from “northeast Mass.” In addition to the Forry posting, a slew of vice chair positions were allotted to Dorchester and Mattapan representatives in the House.
Rep. Nick Collins of South Boston will serve as vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies and also sit on the committees on Housing, Telecommunications,
Utilities, and Energy; and Veterans and Federal Affairs. “As our economy continues to grow, I look forward to shaping policy that ensures equitable growth, increased economic opportunity and access, quality of life for our veterans, and stable housing,” Collins said in a prepared statement. “I am excited to face these challenges with you, and am proud to serve as your state representative.” Collins’ vice chairmanship now comes with an additional $15,000 stipend.
All other vice chairmanships awarded to Dorchester elected officials include an additional $5,200 stipend. Rep. Evandro Carvalho, whose district covers a central swath of Dorchester, will be vice chairman of the Committee on Public Health.
He will also sit on the House committees on Technology and International Affairs and Ways and Means, as well as the Joint Committee on Election Laws. In a statement, Carvalho said he was “honored” to be named to the post. “In this role, I will focus on Public Health outcomes in Massachusetts while gaining insight into legislative consensus building,” he added. “I am hopeful that we can continue our national leadership in developing innovative public health approaches to violence and trauma.” Rep. Russell Holmes, representing parts of southwestern Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roslindale has been appointed vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Housing.
He will also sit on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the joint Election Laws and Public Service committees. Rep. Dan Cullinane of Dorchester and Mattapan will serve as vice chairman of the House Ethics Committee and sit on the committees on Ways and Means, Health Care Financing, and Small Business and Community Development. The ethics chairs for the House and Senate were charged in January with leading a 13-member task force to produce a report reviewing conflicts of interest, financial disclosure laws, and the regulations of the State Ethics Commission.
The group has a reporting deadline of March 15. “I am honored by the trust and confidence Speaker DeLeo has placed in me by elevating me to this position at a time when the modernization of the state’s ethics laws is poised to be front and center as part of his agenda for this session,” Cullinane said. “I look forward to diving right into the important work of this new role.”
Rep. Dan Hunt, representing Dorchester and parts of Quincy, has been assigned as vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. He will also serve as a member of the House and joint committees on Ways and Means, and the joint committees on the Judiciary and Revenue. “I’m extremely pleased and grateful to Speaker DeLeo for elevating me from member to vice chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure,” Hunt said.
“This is a substantive committee that has real life implications for the residents of Dorchester and Quincy. The work covers a broad range of issues that include consumer credit, registration of the trades, liquor licenses, sales, consumer protection and many more.”
The legislative session, which began last month, will end in December 2018.