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Sen. Downing named to committee chair post

Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, will continue to serve as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee and will also head the Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading.

The appointments by Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, came Thursday as she announced a leadership team that includes Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, as Senate majority leader.

The Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee last year, under Downing’s leadership, advanced major legislation to stabilize energy costs in Massachusetts and improve the emergency service response of public utility companies for consumers.

Downing will also continue as vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and as a member of the powerful Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Sen. Stephen Brewer, D-Barre.

Downing will also serve as a member of the committees on Post Audit and Oversight; on Global Warming and Climate Change; on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and on Higher Education.

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