AUGUSTA – State Rep. Rich Cebra has been named House chair of the Transportation Committee, putting him in position to shape policy on issues ranging from driver’s licenses to railroads and the Maine Turnpike. He also has been appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Joint Rules, which sets operational guidelines for the 125th Legislature, and he is the chairman of the House Ethics Committee.
Rep. Cebra (R-Naples), now in his fourth legislative term, brings strong experience to his new chairmanship post. He has served on the Transportation panel during the last two Legislatures. “I expect an extremely busy session in the committee, dealing with the state’s aging infrastructure,” he said. “We have a large backlog of work on roads and bridges. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make our roads safer and improve the state’s transportation system. For too long, our infrastructure has been on the back burner. I hope to make it a high priority.
“We’re fortunate to have some fine legislators returning to the committee,” he added, “including Representative Kim Rosen (R-Bucksport) and Senator Doug Thomas (R-Somerset).” Sen. Ron Collins (R-York), a former four-term state representative and a veteran of the Transportation panel, will serve as the Senate chair.
House Speaker Robert Nutting, who made the chairmanship appointment, said Rep. Cebra brings high energy and a sense of fairness to the job. “Rich Cebra has the right experience for this position, but perhaps more importantly, he is known for his integrity and his strong interest in improving our roads,” he said. “I have no doubt that he will handle this important committee in an outstanding fashion.”
The Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Transportation; the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; motor vehicle registration and license plates; driver’s licenses; and the Maine Turnpike Authority. It also oversees the Highway Fund; transportation policy; aeronautics; highway and bridge construction and maintenance; highway safety; waterways; railroads; and motor vehicles and motor carriers.
The Maine Legislature has 16 bipartisan policy committees, which handle bills and issues that fall within their areas of jurisdiction. Each committee has 13 members – three senators and 10 representatives.