Charlestown’s State Rep. Dan Ryan has been inaugurated for another term in the legislature this week, and he said he is ready to tackle issues from transportation to opiate recovery research in the new term.
On Wednesday, with the new class of the state legislature, Rep. Ryan took the oath of office along with Gov. Charlie Baker and the rest of the Commonwealth. It will be his third full term in office, and he said it will be an interesting term with new faces and a Republican governor in his second round.
“I think the voters of Chelsea and Charlestown first and foremost for giving me two more years,” he said. “It will be my third full term and Gov. Baker’s second term. We’ll have some big changes in the House and it will be very interesting to see what those changes look like. It will be interesting to see what happens with Gov. Baker’s second term. He was easy to work with in the first term with very moderate Republican stances. Second terms are different so we’ll see what that dynamic looks like.”
Ryan also praised House Speaker Bob DeLeo for his leadership in 2018, and his new term in 2019 – having also been sworn in as the House Speaker again on Wednesday.
“I’ll be supporting the Speaker in this next term,” he said. “He’s had a strong hand in this legislative session with everything going on in the Senate, the House needed to be the grown up in the room and the Speaker was very pragmatic in moving things forward.”
Ryan is now the vice chair of the Substance Abuse/Mental Health Committee, and also serves on the Transportation, Post Audit and Veterans Affairs Committees. He said he has also been appointed to Task Forces charged with looking at the Commuter Rail and looking into issues related to the Opiate Bill passed last year.
“There’s going to be a lot of movement in the chairmanships, but I think I’m going to be on the same committees,” he said. “I’ll be spending a lot of time doing transportation work. That’s not always the issue that gets a lot of attention, but it’s very important, especially in Charlestown where things are building up so fast around us.”
Ryan said the last session was very progressive, including legislation on criminal justice reform, the opiate bill, pay equity, the transgender accommodation bill and banning bump stock firing devices for firearms.
“We got a lot of progressive legislation though in the last two years,” he said. “Even though some didn’t think we were progressive enough, I think it was one of the most forward looking sessions in a long time.”
Locally, Ryan said he has worked to get a $50,000 grant to get the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) involved in planning for the Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue project.
“We keep talking about the BRA and what they’re going to do, but a majority of the DCR land in Charlestown is on that corridor and along our waterfront and riverways,” he said. “If we’re going to be doing that and climate resiliency, we need DCR in the conversation too.”