Benjamin B. Downing 186th (2009 - 2010) Senator

D Pittsfield
Benjamin B. Downing


State House
Room 413F
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1625
Fax: 617-722-1523
Bill Docket Bill Title
S.17 SD626 For legislation to safeguard the confidentiality of prescribing information
S.39 SD1376 For legislation to ensure continuity of health coverage for children
S.55 SD4 For legislation to improve quality in early education and care by family child care proviers
S.89 SD1415 For legislation to strenghten community development in the commonwealth
S.90 SD991 For legislation relative to community preservation
S.136 SD697 For legislation to reduce unwanted communications from creditors to protect the peace and privacy of residents
S.154 SD500 For legislation relative to duplicative energy efficiency programs
H.188 HD3905 Relative to the continuation of eligiblity for medical benefits for certain children
S.208 SD1297 For legislation to require instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automatic external defibrillators for high school graduation
S.217 SD1419 For legislation relative to CPR and AED certification for athletic coaches
S.244 SD101 For legislation concerning funding replacement vocational and technical public high school instructional equipment
S.251 SD89 For legislation relative to out of stste price authorization for chapter 766 students
S.254 SD1379 For legislation relative to medical emergency response plans for schools
S.269 SD1776 For legislation to amend regional school transportation funding
S.372 SD214 For legislation to provide improved management of state forests
S.378 SD238 For legislation to promote alternative energy on farms
S.383 SD1347 For legislation relative to improving the Massachusetts rural economy for the farm forest and wood products industry
S.396 SD296 For legislation to protect the natural and historic resources of the Commonwealth
H.416 HD3747 Relative to private school the pricing rating formula for goods or services related to special education
H.418 HD3750 Relative to charter schools and education collaboratives
S.549 SD1463 For legislation relative to health care affordability
H.576 HD421 For legislation to provide for the registration of voters on election days
S.606 SD103 For legislation relative to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees
S.611 SD699 For legislation relative to funding public institutions of higher education
H.617 HD2542 (with the approval of the mayor and city council) relative to civil service positions in the city of Pittsfield
H.637 HD4261 (with the approval of the mayor and city council) relative to authorizing the city of Pittsfield to prohibit heavy commercial vehicles from Merriam Street and South Merriam Street in said city
H.736 HD947 Relative to the regulation of animal trapping
H.773 HD1122 Relative to enforcement of environmental boating regulations and penalties for violations thereof
S.797 SD350 For legislation relative to surgical technology
H.847 HD2945 Relative to exempting cities and towns from fees from the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act
S.991 SD1141 For legislation relative to hazardous materials response.
H.1098 HD2611 Relative to the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada
H.1102 HD2095 For legislation to establish a division of health insurance under the supervision and control of the Commissioner of Health Insurance
S.1284 SD1646 For legislation to impose an excise on the use of plastic carryout bags in certain stores
H.1287 HD3493 Relative to time-share ownership
S.1293 SD279 For legislation relative to tax deductions for home heating costs
S.1317 SD658 For legislation relative to 529 college savings plans
S.1455 SD749 For legislation to provide for accountability and transparency in the finances of the commonwealth
S.1494 SD1989 For legislation regarding service outage restoration penalties
S.1528 SD1602 For legislation relative to expanding the advanced smart metering program
S.1559 SD502 For legislation to protect and enhance the rights of child and adult victims and witnesses of crime
S.1660 SD1668 For legislation relative to the profits from crime
H.1687 HD1999 Relative to the penalties for the crime of rape of an elderly person or a person with disabilities
H.1688 HD2000 For legislation to make exhibiting or disseminating material of an elder or a person with a disability in a state of nudity or sexual conduct a criminal offense
S.1693 SD1627 For legislation to further regulate sex offender registration
H.1728 HD431 Relative to gender based discrimination and hate crimes
S.1826 SD1112 For legislation relative to improving the bail review and rendition process
H.1858 HD2336 Relative to the compensation of employees on Sundays and holidays
S.1861 SD1757 For legislation relative to the registry of deeds
S.1892 SD205 For legislation relative to permist for overweight vehicles
S.1957 SD1833 For legislation relative to regional transit authorities
H.2127 HD852 For legislation to establish a health care trust for the preservation of the health care system of the Commonwealth
S.2137 SD2189 For legislation relative to Regional Transit Authorities.
S.2183 SD2225 For legislation to combat economic crime
H.2360 HD2064 For legislation to protect the integrity of the state pension systemt
H.2484 HD241 Relative to the eligibility of certain faculty for contributory group insurance of public higher educational institutions
H.2487 HD244 Relative to cost of living adjustments for retired public employees of the Commonwealth
H.2702 HD3948 For legislation to provide for a credit for corporations against corporate income taxes to foster job creation in municpalities designated as gateway cities
H.2711 HD915 Relative to expanding the historic rehabilitation tax credit within the gateway cities
H.2812 HD3842 For legislation to provide for an income tax credit for the rehabilitation of residential historic properties
H.2893 HD1285 For legislation to exempt certain long-term care facilities from property taxes
H.3025 HD1043 Relative to continuing the expedited disposal of surplus land
H.3081 HD3347 For an investigation by a special commission (including members of the General Court) of ways to preserve and enhance safe and efficient transmission of electric power in the Commonwealth
H.3267 HD1283 For legislation to further regulate the speed limit of motorized vehicles in certain densely populated areas in cities and towns
H.3425 HD1163 Relative to the use of credit cards at gasoline stations
H.3547 HD1634 For an investigation by a special commission (including members of the General Court) of methods to develop an index of creative and innovative education in the Commonwealth
H.3550 HD2285 For legislation to designate a skating rink in North Adams as the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.
H.3701 HD3294 Relative to establishing the Center Pond Restoration and Protection District in the Town of Becket
H.3702 HD3348 (by vote of the town) that the town of Becket be authorized to establish the Sherwood Forest Lake District
H.3846 HD3804 For legislation to provide special, non-recurring payments to certain municipalities for the purpose of providing emergency disaster relief due to the ice storm of December 11 and 12, 2008
H.4013 HD4149 Relative to the establishment of cultural districts
H.4091 HD4065 Relative to the health insurance for retired employees of the city of Pittsfield
H.4191 HD4500 (by vote of the town) relative to the membership of the conservation commission of the town of Stockbridge
H.4242 HD4594 (by vote of the town) relative to the appointment of members of the redevlopment authority in the town of Dalton
H.4293 HD4530 Relative to economic crimes involving monetary instruments or other property known to be derived from criminal activity
H.4325 HD4605 For legislation to designate a certain bridge in the town of Dalton as the Second Lieutenant Michael J. Casey, Sr., Memorial Bridge
H.4487 HD4852 That James M. McGarry be authorized to continue in service as chief of the police department of the town of Sheffield
H.4513 HD4323 Relative to Medicaid payments to critical access hospitals
H.4574 HD4913 For legislation establishing a sick leave bank for Judith R. Abraham, an employee of the Department of of Developmental Services
H.4682 HD5022 That the city of Pittsfield be authorized to increase the size of their licensing board to five members
H.4709 HD4990 (by vote of the town) that the town of Lee be authorized to grant certain retirement benefits to Stanley Daoust, an employee of the department of public works of said town
H.4730 HD4869 For legislation to restrict calllers from using certain automatic dialing devices for sending informaion to subscribers of telephone services
H.4851 HD5092 (with the approval of the mayor and city council) that the city of North Adams be authorized to use certain reserve funds for the reduction of debt in the current fiscal year

Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate on November 7, 2006 and is currently serving his fifth term in office. Senator Downing represents the 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District, proudly serving the largest Senate district in the Commonwealth.

Senator Downing serves as the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which is tasked with reviewing all matters concerning renewable and non-renewable energy sources. He is also the chairman of the new Senate Committee on Redistricting.

The Senator also serves as vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. In past legislative sessions he served as chair of the Public Service Committee (2007), the Senate Ethics and Rules Committee (2007-2008), the Revenue (2009-2010) and Higher Education (2010) Committees, the Senate Committee on Steering & Policy (2012) and the Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading (2013-2014). He is an active member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and serves on several other Senate and joint committees. Senator Downing is also a member of several legislative caucuses; he serves as co-chairman of the Gateway Cities Caucus and is an active participant of the Regional Schools Caucus, the Regional Transit Caucus (RTA) and the Rural Caucus.

A Pittsfield native, Senator Downing received his B.A. in Political Science from Providence College in 2003. In May 2008 he received a M.A. from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environment Policy & Planning. Before returning to Pittsfield, Senator Downing lived in Washington, D.C. working for former U.S. Representative William Delahunt (D- Quincy) and U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal (D- Springfield), before joining the staff of U.S. Representative John W. Olver (D- Amherst). For nearly two years he served as senior advisor to Congressman Olver..

Senator Downing’s family has a long history of public service. He is the oldest of four children (Maggie, Nate and Nick) raised by the late Berkshire District Attorney Gerard and Pamela Downing. He is married to Micaelah B. Morrill.

Personal Information

Profession: Legislator/Public Service
Religion: Roman Catholic

Career Highlights

  • Elected 2006; Re-elected 2008, 2010 and 2012
  • Chair, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy 2011-2012 and 2013-2014;Chair, Senate Committee on Bills in Third Reading 2013-2014;
  • Chair, Senate Committee on Steering & Policy 2012;Acting Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education 2010;Chair, Joint Committee on Revenue 2009-2010
  • Chair, Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules 2007-2008;Chair, Joint Committee on Public Service 2007

Education & Public Service

  • Pittsfield Catholic Schools
  • Providence College, BA - Political Science 2003
  • Tufts University, MA - Public Policy 2008
  • “Honorary Chairman, College Democrats of Massachusetts”
  • Co-Chair, Massachusetts Democratic Party's Committee on Youth Services
  • Co-Chair of the Leadership Council to End Chronic Homelessness in Berkshire County
  • Advisory Council of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center; Honorary Member, Advisory Committee on Workforce Development for Homeless Families
  • Pittsfield Democratic Committee; Member, Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Rural Subcommittee; Advisory Council of Multicultural BRIDGE
Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden -- Consisting of the cities and towns in the county of Berkshire; the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington in the county of Hampshire; and the towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne in the county of Franklin; and the towns of Blandford and Chester in the county of Hampden.