As the new legislative session approaches, both the House and Senate will have to appoint new leaders to oversee their Ways and Means committees.
Top state lawmakers on Monday talked about open committee leadership positions.
For the second time in 18-months, House Speaker Robert DeLeo will have to choose someone to chair the ways and means committee.
Senate President Karen Spilka will have to do the same on the Senate side.
“As I’ve stated before, I’m meeting with all of the senators, literally all of them and hearing what their strengths are and where they want to be,” said Spilka.
The new committee chairs won’t have to answer to other lawmakers, which gives them the freedom to craft the $41 billion state budget as they see fit.
There is no shortage of talented candidates, including Chicopee Democrat Joseph Wagner.
Wagner currently chairs the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
The legislative leaders said they are taking a serious look at all of the candidates and they expect to announce their decisions once the House and Senate reconvene in January.
Leadership members are keeping their top picks a secret, but they plan to meet regularly to discuss the progress they’ve made in the search for new Ways and Means chairs.