After last week's hurrah, this week legislators settle in to their committees. There are a few changes worth noting.
- Rep. David Zuckerman, the Progressive from Burlington whose other job is raising vegetables, was ousted from the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee. New Speaker Shap Smith had to find a place for Rep. Carolyn Partridge, who'd bowed out of challenging Smith for the speaker's job. Partridge is a sheep farmer from Windham. Zuckerman wasn't happy to lose his chairmanship, but given that reality, he wasn't displeased with where he landed: House Ways & Means, the tax-writing committee.
- Rep. Johanna Donovan, D-Burlington, another who bowed out of the speaker's race, was rewarded with the chairmanship of the House Education Committee. Smith's other speaker rival, Mark Larson, was rewarded with retaining his position as vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which would have been tough to improve upon.
- Republican retained one chairmanship - Rep. Rich Westman in House Transportation. They weren't complaining. Rep. Steve Adams, who was challenging Smith for the speaker's job too, becomes vice chairman of the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.
In the Senate, changes were few.
- Sen. Bobby Starr, D-Essex/Orleans, becomes chairman of the Education Committee after Sen. Donald Collins lost his re-election bid.
- Freshman Prog/Dem Tim Ashe landed spots on Senate Economic Development and Institutions, an indication that Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin likes the guy.
- Fellow freshman Randy Brock, the Republican who beat Collins in Franklin County, landed on Government Operations and Education, perhaps an indication he has yet to win Shumlin over.
- Room was made for Democratic freshman Matt Choate, a nurse from Caledonia County, on Health & Welfare, costing Sen. Jeanette White her seat there, but she will have a chance to influence mental health issues such as the future of the Vermont State Hospital on Institutions.
- Terri Hallenbeck