New Chairmen For Three Senate committees
Three new chairmen will lead Senate committees, including ones dealing with education and health care.
Much of the work of the Legislature is done in committees and chairmen exert considerable influence by setting the agenda for their panels.
Sen. John Sapien, a Corrales Democrat, will serve as Education Committee chairman.
Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, an Albuquerque Democrat, will head the Public Affairs Committee. Its responsibilities include health care measures.
Sen. Peter Wirth, a Santa Fe Democrat, takes over as chairman of the Conservation Committee, which handles legislation involving water, energy and other issues.
The previous chairmen of the three committees didn't seek re-election last year.
Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen said Thursday the leadership tried to maintain continuity by keeping committee chairmen in place when possible.