Different Speaker, New Committee Assignments In House
They were a team for four years, but House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey, who will take over as House Speaker on Jan. 9, has a slightly different view of his caucus than outgoing Speaker Chris Donovan.
Late Friday night, Sharkey announced several new committee co-chairs.
Rep. Peter Tercyak of New Britain will take over as co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees, succeeding Zeke Zalaski, who did not seek re-election. In taking over the Labor and Public Employees Committee, Tercyak is giving up his chairmanship of the Human Services Committee. Rep. Cathy Abercrombie of Meriden will succeed Tercyak as the new co-chair of the Human Services Committee. She hasn’t held a seat on that committee, but was vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Mae Flexer of Danielson will succeed Abercrombie as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven will remain co-chair of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Patricia Widlitz of Guilford will remain co-chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.
Rep. Chris Perone of Norwalk will succeed Rep. Jeff Berger as co-chair of the Commerce Committee. Earlier this month, Berger mounted an unsuccessful bid for majority leader losing to Rep. Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin, who will succeed Sharkey. Berger will become one of seven deputy speakers who will share time on the dais guiding the debate during House sessions.
Rep. Lonnie Reed of Branford will succeed Rep. Vickie Nardello, who lost her re-election bid, as the new co-chair of Energy and Technology. Reed had been vice chair of the committee and was the logical successor. Her co-chairman will be Sen. Bob Duff, who was also the vice chair of the committee before he was elevated to co-chair earlier this month.
Rep. Linda Gentile of Ansonia will succeed retiring Rep. Richard Roy of Milford as co-chairwoman of the Environment Committee. Rep. Jason Rojas of East Hartford will succeed Gentile as co-chair of the Planning and Development Committee. At 34, Rojas will be one of the youngest committee co-chairmen.
Rep. David Baram of Bloomfield will succeed Rep. Joseph Taborsak as the new co-chair of the General Law Committee. Taborsak did not seek re-election. Rep. Ed Jutila of East Lyme will be the new co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. He will succeed Rep. Russ Morin, who will become one of seven deputy majority leaders.
Rep. Susan Johnson of Willimantic will serve as the co-chairwoman of the Public Health Committee, succeeding Rep. Betsy Ritter, who will become a deputy speaker.
Rep. Matt Ritter of Hartford will succeed Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven as vice chair of the Judiciary Committee. Holder-Winfield will become a deputy majority leader.
The musical chairs means at least four committees: Energy and Technology, General Administration and Elections, Human Services, and Labor and Public Employees, will have a new House and Senate co-chair.
The Senate committee assignments were released on Christmas Eve.