State Rep. Dan Ryan was appointed to his first chairmanship position late last week by House Speaker Ron Mariano, with the veteran representative taking the lead on the House Election Laws Committee.
Ryan has served for his first several terms on important committees, such as transportation, but gaining a role as a chairman indicates somewhat of a promotion within the legislative body.
Ryan said this week he knew it was going to be a very busy Committee, with a lot of hearings and testimony to be heard given the changes to the voting and Elections systems during COVID-19. The future of those changes, and any new alterations, will likely be hashed out in his new Committee in the coming months. “I want to thank Speaker Mariano and his leadership team for putting their trust in me to take on this important role,” he said. “The COVID pandemic has certainly tested our resolve as a country and Commonwealth. This past year has laid bare the fragility of many sectors of society. However, out of necessity, we have also pulled together to test some ideas that have been around for a while. Early voting, no-excuse absentee voting and other forms of ballot access initiatives were very popular. It will be a lot work right out of the gate to refine these processes for this year’s elections – as well as for the long term. We need to ensure that elections are safe and fair with as much access to the ballot box as reasonably possible.” Due to the anticipated agenda of the Committee, Ryan was not assigned to any other Committees as a member in the coming session.