Ben Downing is New Sentate Chairman of Public Service Committee

2007 MAR - Senate President Robert Travaglini has named Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) to the post of Senate Chairman of the Public Service Committee, the key committee which acts on all pension legislation.

As Senate Chairman, Downing replaced Senator Patricia Jehlen who has
moved on to chair the Committee on Elder Affairs. Downing’s district,
the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin District, includes 48 communities
in the Commonwealth’s western most Senate District.
Although a youthful 25, Downing had earlier moved to Washington, DC
where he worked in the offices of US Representative William Delahunt
(D-Quincy) and Richard Neal (D-Springfield), before joining the staff
of Rep. John Olver (D-Amherst) where he was a senior advisor. As a
freshman Senator he succeeded Andrea Nuciforo who is now the Central
Berkshire Registrar of Deeds.

In expressing his awareness relative to the hundreds of bills
sensitive to public employment and retirement Downing said, “I am
pleased that in my freshman term I will be able to jump right in and
work on these often controversial ideas. I look forward to working with
Jay Kaufman (House co-chair) and the constituencies that this Committee
will serve.”

“We’ll miss Senator Jehlen and her insight relative
to our pension system,” said Association President Ralph White. “But we
also welcome Senator Downing and the valuable contacts he has made in
Washington where we have major legislation (SS Windfall and Offset
Repeal) pending. He is also very much aware of the pension issues we
are facing in our state.”Downing attended Pittsfield Catholic schools
and graduated from Providence College with a BA in Political Science.