State Senator Anthony Petruccelli was elevated to Majority Whip last Thursday by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst)–the same position that catapulted another son of East Boston, Robert Travaglini, to the Senate Presidency in 2003.
In U.S. politics, a whip’s role is to gauge the temperature of members in the party and line up votes for important bills and legislation. The term comes from hunting. First used in the 1800s, the term ‘whipping in’, i.e. making sure the hounds didn’t stray from the pack, was applied to ‘enforcers’ in Congress who made sure their party members voted accordingly or were, at the very least, present when important votes were taken.
Petruccelli, who was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2007 after serving as a State Representative for Eastie in the House for seven years, will help craft the Senate agenda and contributes to the building of the Senate Calendar, which controls when bills will come up for debate.
“I am grateful to Senate President Rosenberg for the opportunity to serve in this leadership capacity and look forward to offering new perspective to the roll,” said Petruccelli.
In a newly created position, Petruccelli will also serve as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Typically when members caucus and the Senate President is unable to preside over the caucus the role falls to the Majority Leader. Rosenberg has decided to allow Petruccelli to preside over the caucus in his absence.
“I’m really excited by that opportunity and the role that Senate President Rosenberg has entrusted in me,” said Petruccelli. “I look forward to that new role.”
While Petruccelli will no longer chair the committee on financial services his role in senate leadership will allow him to focus more on almost all the legislation that the Senate will take on in the upcoming session.
“It frees me up to focus on more things and be involved in more legislation, how members may or may not vote and and helping direct the agenda for the upcoming year,” he said.
Petruccelli has also been appointed Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading, which approves drafting and constitutionality of all legislation before final Senate passage. In addition, Senator Petruccelli is also a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
Petruccelli’s district includes Beacon Hill, Cambridge, North End, Revere, East Boston and Winthrop.
“Senator Petruccelli continues to advance in his Senate career with his appointment to leadership based on his work ethic, the widespread respect he has from the members, and his ability to lead others,” said Senate President Rosenberg.