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Rosenberg Out as Senate President for Rest of Term

The Senate's 31 Democrats were meeting to discuss whether the scandal swirling around former Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) was too much of a distraction from the body's legislative affairs. And they all emphasized the work ahead for the Senate in the months before the formal legislative session ends in July.

Rosenberg stepped down in December of previous year amid accusations of sexual misconduct involving his husband, Bryon Hefner, who allegedly inappropriately touched and kissed several men, some of whom had business before the State House. The move makes clear that Rosenberg will not regain the presidency this year, no matter what investigators conclude.

Jockeying for the Senate president can itself be a disruptive process, but a veteran like Chandler should be able to keep her troops in line for now.

Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler announced she will hold the presidency through the end of the 2018 session.

Rosenberg added, "I reiterate that Bryon had no influence over my actions or decisions as Senate President, and I look forward to the completion of the investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee". Rosenberg has thus far indicated he plans to run for re-election in his Amherst district, a place that can be rather forgiving of the liberals it loves.

Chandler, who had been Senate majority leader, will select a new majority leader.

It's a step away from Rosenberg, who is the subject of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, and while senators say they are trying to create a stable environment the branch is at risk of being riled by months of wrangling by potential Chandler successors.

"Nothing's happening in the short term so I am considering that but again, what President Chandler said today, one president at a time, we all agree with that".

Several senators said earlier in the day that they hoped Chandler would remain in the post for now.

But Lesser said Wednesday that, like his colleagues, he supports Chandler as leader until 2019 because it will give the Senate a break from the public maneuvering for the top job. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, using Chandler's nickname.

Chandler, 80, reiterated that she has no desire to serve as president beyond this year. "I just want to see continuity", Gobi said. Senate leaders are putting together their state budget proposal for the new fiscal year, are expected to release a wide-ranging energy bill on Monday, and are in the midst of negotiations with the House over differing criminal justice legislation passed by each chamber. "There's some merit to that idea", Tarr said, speaking while Democrats were still caucusing.

This is a breaking news story that is being updated.



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