After much speculation and rumor, word today is that the open Massachusetts state senate Ways & Means chair (left by the legendary Pangy) is going to Stephen Brewer of Barre.
This is not a huge surprise; Brewer was vice-chair of the committee, and thus A) clearly trusted by senate president Therese Murray, and B) knowledgable enough about the budget process to handle it right away.
The downside -- which also applied to Boston's John Hart, another rumored possibility -- is that everybody who has been on the Ways & Means committee, and particularly those in leadership roles, are all hip-deep in the probation department probation scandal investigation. Brewer in particular was #2 with a bullet on the Ware report's list of legislators sponsoring the most job candidates.
That doesn't mean Brewer, or anyone else in the legislature, did anything wrong. But this was, as I have previously written, a test of how concerned Murray is about the political toxicity of that scandal.
Apparently, not much concerned.