Collins sworn in to Senate, eyes UMass hearing on Mount Ida College

Senate President Harriette Chandler fastened a pin to Sen. Nick Collins' lapel Wednesday after he took his oath of office. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS]

Nick Collins, state Senator-elect for the First Suffolk District, was sworn in at noon Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker and will join the legislative body just in time for continued budget discussions and the upcoming hearing on UMass Amherst’s proposed acquisition of Mount Ida College.

In a low-turnout special election this month, the former state Rep. succeeded Linda Dorcena Forry in her vacated Senate seat. He now represents swaths of South Boston, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

After Collins took the oath of office and Senate President Harriette Chandler marked him with a new Senate lapel pin, the Senate president escorted the newest senator to her office, where the chamber's Democrats were holding a caucus. He was sworn into the Senate on Thursday.

Among his committee assignments -- membership of the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, according to a spokesman.

The committee has a scheduled hearing on May 16 regarding the controversial UMass campus deal, which continues to spark pushback from the UMass Boston community. Acquiring the private Newton-based Mount Ida, members of the Columbia Point university assert, raises issues with the prioritization of schools within the five-campus system.

As a state representative, Collins served portions of Dorchester including Columbia Point, and has been vocal on UMass Boston moves including the Bayside Expo site and a proposed stadium, department cuts, and the ever-fluctuating budget deficit. His boundaries widen in the Senate, with UMass Boston still a critical educational and development center in the district.

Collins will be in place on the Post Audit committee in time for the hearing, which will be open to the public and is scheduled for noon in Room 428.

The new senator has been named chair of the Joint Committee on Export Development; vice chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and the Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; and a member of the Post Audit committee, the Joint Committee on Children's, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Joint Committee on Public Health, and the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Material from the State House News Service was used in this report.

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