Massachusetts lawmakers discuss who will fill vacant leadership roles

Lawmakers are eyeing vacant leadership positions for the next two-year session

BOSTON (WWLP) – Beacon Hill lawmakers are eyeing vacant leadership positions for the next two-year session.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg are looking for people to fill key leadership roles this year. These positions are appealing because they come with added power and a pay raise.

A committee chairmanship comes with a $7,500 stipend each year. DeLeo has two chairmanships to hand out this session, both in the Committee on the Judiciary and Higher Education.

In the state Senate there are four vacant leadership positions in committees dealing with energy and tourism, among others. The lawmaker who replaces Amherst Democrat Ellen Story as a division chair is in line for an extra $15,000.

One legislator said having someone from western Massachusetts in the ranks certainly helps. State Rep. Brian Ashe said, “More clout when we’re going to the table, whether it’s about bills or any legislation that might benefit western Mass. Whether it’s something with the economy.”

Democratic leaders have been meeting privately with lawmakers over the past few weeks to see what committees they’re interested in.