Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Senate Dems get committee chairmanships

When you have only 20 members in your caucus and there are 21 standing committees, every Democrat in the Pennsylvania Senate gets to be a committee chairperson.

Democrats will continue to be the minority party in the Pennsylvania Senate for the next two years, but they're trying to make the best of it.

Being named minority chairman of a Senate committee isn't that big a deal, but it does come with some perks (including a higher salary) and some prestige.

State Senate Democratic Leader Robert J. Mellow today announced his picks to serve as Democratic chairs for Senate committees for the 2009-10 legislative session.

Sen. Raphael J. Musto has to double as chairman of two committees and Mellow himself has to take a committee chairmanship just to have enough bodies to fill the chairs. That's what happens when you're the perpetual minority party and you keep losing ground with each election.

Mellow made the following appointments:
Aging & Youth – LeAnna M. Washington (D-Phila./Montgomery)

Agriculture & Rural Affairs – Michael A. O'Pake (D-Berks)

Appropriations – Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)

Banking & Insurance – Michael J. Stack III (D-Phila.)

Communications & Technology – John Wozniak (D-Cambria/Centre/Clearfield/Clinton/Somerset)

Community, Economic and Recreational Development – Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny)

Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure – Lisa M. Boscola (D-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton)

Education – Andrew E. Dinniman (D-Chester/Montgomery)

Environmental Resources & Energy - Raphael J. Musto (D-Carbon/Luzerne/Monroe)

Finance – Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny/Armstrong/Westmoreland)

Game & Fisheries – Richard A. Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset)

Judiciary – Daylin Leach (D-Delaware/ Montgomery)

Labor & Industry – Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Phila.)

Law & Justice – Sean Logan (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland)

Local Government – Raphael J. Musto (D-Carbon/Luzerne/Monroe)

Public Health & Welfare – Vincent J. Hughes (D-Montgomery/Phila.)

Rules & Executive Nominations – Robert J. Mellow (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe)

State Government - Anthony H. Williams (D-Phila./Delaware)

Transportation – J. Barry Stout (D-Allegheny/Beaver/Greene/Washington/Westmoreland)

Urban Affairs & Housing – Shirley M. Kitchen (D-Phila.)

Veterans' Affairs & Emergency Preparedness – Larry Farnese (D-Phila.)

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