The workloads of the three remaining Republican state senators have grown since former Minority Leader Richard Tisei gave up his seat in 2010 to run for lieutenant governor and former Sen. Michael Knapik resigned this summer to take a job at Westfield State University.
Senate Minority Whip Richard Ross, who has no junior members to whip and already serves on 13 committees, this week picked up a new job, ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Knapik used to hold that post, which placed him on budget bill conference committees and conferences with the House on other key bills.
A Wrentham funeral home owner, Ross already sits on 13 legislative committees.
In the 40-seat Senate, Republicans face logistical difficulties tending to their assignments. Hedlund, the assistant minority leader, sits on 12 committees and Tarr serves on 11.
By contrast, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, one of 29 Republican members of the House, does not serve on any committees. The Senate’s GOP ranks were five-strong back in 2010 when Scott Brown briefly served before giving up his seat to join the U.S. Senate, opening the path for Ross to fill his seat.
Here is a description of Ross's district:
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex -- Consisting of the towns of Franklin, precincts 1 to 4, inclusive, and precinct 7, Millis, Needham, precincts A to C, inclusive, I and J, Norfolk, Plainville, Wellesley, precincts B, F, and G and Wrentham, in the county of Norfolk; the city of Attleboro, ward 1, ward 2 and ward 3, precinct A, and the town of North Attleborough in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Natick, precincts 6, 7, 9 and 10, Sherborn and Wayland in the county of Middlesex.
– M. Murphy/SHNS