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Sen. Kitchel Honored by Senate Colleagues

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MONTPELIER – Caledonia County Senator Jane Kitchel received a high honor last Tuesday, when she was elected to the Senate Committee on Committees, April 23.

Kitchel becomes the first woman to fill the position.

She joins Lt. Gov David Zuckerman and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Baruth (D/P-Chittenden Central) as the third member of the powerful committee that assigns members to committees and decides who will chair them.

Jane Kitchel

The position was previously held by Sen. Dick Mazza, who retired earlier this month, having served as the Senate’s third member since 1997. Kitchel’s election fills the role that had not been open for 27 years.

Kitchel was unopposed, having announced her intention to run for the position just minutes after Sen. Mazza announced his retirement. Her letter to fellow Senators read, “After discussion with some of my colleagues, and recognizing that our work in the Senate has to continue, I have made a decision to run for the position of third member to fill the vacancy left by Senator Mazza.”

“The thing about the third member is, they really have to be somebody who’s highly trusted by all three parties,” Sen. Baruth was quoted in VTDigger as saying.

Sen. Mazza’s retirement left a critical opening as this year’s session is coming to a close. As House and Senate versions of bills need to be reconciled before final passage, it’s Kitchel’s new committee that assigned members to the conference committees that do that work.

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

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