The Beacon: Eldridge gets chairman post

By Christian Schiavone
2/27/09

Acton, Mass. – State Sen. Jamie Eldridge was assigned to serve as the Senate chairman of the legislative Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, a post he said will allow him to advocate for ways to help communities cut costs.

The joint committee reviews legislation proposed to enact laws specific to cities and towns, and establishment of economic, district and local planning commissions. The committee also works on issues of rent control and zoning.

“I feel energized now having my committee assignments and knowing that I’ll be chairing a committee I think will have a lot of significant legislation coming through it,” said Eldridge, an Acton Democrat.

Eldridge was elected to the Middlesex and Worcester state Senate district last November.

All 40 state senators are assigned a committee chairmanship, as well as positions on several other committees. Committee assignments were announced earlier this month.

Eldridge said serving as the Senate chairman of the Municipalities and Regional Government Committee will give him the opportunity to support efforts to cut costs for cash strapped communities. He added that he is hoping to encourage multiple municipalities to share services like schools and public safety dispatch.

He will also serve as Senate vice chairman of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, formerly headed by his predecessor and mentor, state Sen. Pam Resor, also and Acton Democrat.

“Clearly, environmental protection is a legacy of this district,” said Eldridge. “I’m honored to be continuing that legacy.”

Eldridge said he hopes to work on issues such as encouraging recycling and supporting conversion of disused railroad beds into recreational trails.

Eldridge will also serve on the Joint Committees on Housing, Community Development and Small Businesses, and Elder Affairs.