Portsmouth Reps tapped for leadership posts

Newly elected RI House Speaker Nick Mattiello today appointed Portsmouth Rep. Ray Gallison (D-69) chairman of the House Finance Committee.

“I am confident that Representative Gallison will be an excellent leader who will be a tireless watchdog of our state’s finances. He has long been a very dedicated member of this committee, and has amassed a great deal of institutional knowledge that will serve this House and our state well. I’m proud that he will serve as our new Finance chairman,” said Speaker Mattiello.

Rep. Gallison was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000. He has served as co-vice chairman of the Finance Committee since 2010. He served on the committee from 2003 to 2006, and then again from February 2010 to the present.

Since 2011, he has been chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, a position he will relinquish as a result of this appointment. In the past, he has also served as vice chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and as a member of the Health, Education and Welfare Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the former House Separation of Powers Committee. He was a deputy majority leader for three terms as well.

The Finance Committee is considered the most influential of the House committees, since it is in charge of developing the state budget as well as other matters that have a financial impact on the state. It is also one of the busiest committees, meeting daily for much of the session.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead the Finance Committee. The work our members do is very complicated, intense and often requires difficult decisions, but it also is an opportunity to ensure that our budget reflects our state’s values. I’m proud to have a dedicated team who will work alongside me, and am looking forward to advancing the progress we’ve already made this session,” said Chairman Gallison.

Yesterday, another Portsmouth legislator, Jay Edwards (D-70), was chosen by the incoming Speaker for the post of Whip.

Editorial note: Written substantially from a press release.