Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Caledonia County Sen. Jane Kitchel elected to powerful committee panel

A woman with glasses and white hair speaks while using her hands. Another woman looks on from the side.
Zoe McDonald
Vermont Public
Sen. Jane Kitchel responds to Gov. Phil Scott's budget address on Jan. 23.

Caledonia County Sen. Jane Kitchel has been named to a powerful panel that determines committee assignments in the Vermont Senate.

When Grand Isle Sen. Dick Mazza resigned earlier this month due to health reasons, he left a vacancy on what’s known as the Committee on Committees.

More from Vermont Public: 'This is Dick Mazza's chair': After dean of the Senate resigns, colleagues reflect on a legacy

The three-person panel, which also includes the senate president pro tem and the lieutenant governor, wields influence over Senate operations, because its members decide who gets assigned to each Senate committee.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Baruth told Vermont Public earlier this month that members of the Committee on Committees enjoy considerable authority in Montpelier.

“It has the power to put people on the committee they want, or to exile them for two years to the committee they don’t,” Baruth said.

A man talks into microphones
Zoe McDonald
Vermont Public
Senate Pro Tem Philip Baruth talks to media Thursday, Jan. 4, after Gov. Phil Scott's State of the State.

Kitchel, the chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, previously served as the secretary of human services under Gov. Howard Dean and Gov. Jim Douglas.

Washington County Sen. Andrew Perchlik said Kitchel’s decades of experience in both the executive and legislative branches have given her the experience needed for the role.

Windsor County Sen. Alison Clarkson said Kitchel’s “quiet authority” would serve her well in the new role.

“I am in gratitude for her service,” Clarkson said Tuesday. “And I think we would all benefit enormously by having the first woman serve as the third member of the committee on committees.”

The full Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Kitchel to the position.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.


The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
Latest Stories