Bedford’s member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives says his new position as a committee chair will benefit his district.
State Rep. Kenneth Gordon last week was named House chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service by the new speaker of the House, State Rep. Ronald Mariano of Quincy.
The committee’s jurisdiction focuses on laws related to public pensions. The committee handled more than 600 bills last session, he said.
Gordon, who is an attorney, said the speaker gave him a few days’ notice that his skills would be needed. “He called me and said he had some ideas that would make use of my experience and my abilities.” The Bedford legislator said he didn’t actively seek the appointment.
“I think this is good for our district because you see people assigned to it are valued,” Gordon explained. “It demonstrates that when I’ve gone to leadership to advocate for my district, I have always had an open door and a willing ear.” Besides Bedford, the district comprises Burlington and two Wilmington precincts.
Most of the committees that create policy are shared by the House and Senate, Gordon said; there are 29 joint committees. He noted that committee chairs don’t serve on other legislative committees. His co-chair on Public Service will be Sen. Mike Brady of Brockton.
Gordon explained that the committee’s range includes municipal and county plans and pensions managed by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission. “Various groups will look to address their classification,” he said. “People come to us and say they want to address a gap in the law.”
One new experience will be virtual hearings, Gordon said. “When the State House closed in March, most of the committees had already conducted their public hearings. Now the public still has to have access to testify and to watch.” He added, “It’s actually an opportunity. We will have to develop some committee rules as to how this works.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763