Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo has not publicly said whether state Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose of Amherst will be able to keep his committee assignments. Goldstein-Rose announced on Tuesday he was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent.
Goldstein-Rose said he does not know or care if he'll be allowed to keep his seats on committees, calling the question "irrelevant." He said that's because he wants to make "bold, systemic policy change."
"If you think that any of that can be furthered by being the member of a certain committee or anything like that, either you are extremely senior and the chair of a committee -- which was not in my near future whatsoever, or you don't understand the process of the Massachusetts legislature," he said Wednesday.
Goldstein-Rose has been in the legislature for 13 months. He currently serves on the House administration, housing, higher education and arts committees.
Despite his ambivalence toward committee membership, Goldstein-Rose is downplaying the likelihood he will lose his seats, pointing to Representative Susannah Whipps of Athol, who became an independent in August of last year.
Goldstein-Rose said he believes Whipps "retained her same committee assignments when she disenrolled from the Republican Party."
It's true that Whipps initially kept her committees. But that soon changed, according to Michael Smith, spokesman for House Republican leader Brad Jones.
"[C]onsistent with the overwhelming vote of the Caucus in October," Smith wrote in an email, "Whipps’ Republican spot on her various committees was filled by other Republican caucus members in January."
Asked if DeLeo had decided whether Goldstein-Rose should keep his seats on committees, a spokeswoman for the speaker, Whitney Ferguson, replied, "We will let you know when we have something."