Boston, MA- New committee assignments were made in the Senate today and Senator Michael Moore is pleased to announce that he has retained his Chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Higher Education and his Vice Chairmanship of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. “I look forward to continuing the important work I have been doing to ensure higher education in Massachusetts remains both affordable and world class,” said Senator Moore. In addition Senator Moore was named a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Post Audit and Oversight, Bonding, Capital Expenditures and Assets, Labor and Workforce, and the newly formed committee on Intergovernmental Affairs.

Also today in formal session the Massachusetts State Senate adopted new rules that will govern internal Senate procedures for the upcoming two year session. This is the earliest the rules have been adopted by the Senate since they moved to a two year session in 1995.

The new rules reflect the priorities of openness and transparency for Senate business that Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) promised in his inaugural address to the Senate on January 7th.

“The task and the request was transparency, accountability, and shared leadership and I think these rules that we have come up with all contribute to those three agenda items and I’m really pleased,” said Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. “With the adoption of the new rules the Senate can hit the ground running and get to work helping the people of the Commonwealth.”

“As Chair of the Rules Committee, I had the privilege of working with my colleagues from both parties to propose a set of rules that will usher the Senate into a new era of transparency, empowerment, and shared leadership,” said State Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I believe the Committee’s work is a step towards the vision Senate President Rosenberg had in mind for the Senate and that today’s debate reflected a full and fair consideration of all proposals.”

“I believe the new rules passed today are balanced and addressed concerns from both sides of the aisle” said Senator Moore. “I am looking forward to conducting Senate business under Senate President Rosenberg and his leadership team”

“Working together, we’ve been able to build a set of rules that advance the goals of transparency and accountability, and set the stage for productive debate that respects members of all parties and all perspectives,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “While some opportunities offered by the Republican Caucus were missed, others were captured and made the rules adopted today stronger.”

Changes to the rules include: increasing the time for the agenda for formal session to be published from 24 to 48 hours, instructs the Clerk to publish on the internet late-filed bills not yet admitted and numbered, and requires prompt posting of bill text voted on by the Senate, and requires text of further or redrafted budget amendments to be distributed a reasonable time before Senators vote.