Brewer to lead Ways and Means.
The biggest prize went to Sen. Stephen M. Brewer of Barre, who was named chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
The panel leads development of the state budget each year, triggering campaign donations to its leaders and great influence over their colleagues.
Sen. Steven A. Baddour of Methuen was named vice chairman, while Sen. Jennifer L. Flanagan of Leominster was named assistant vice chairman.
All three are Democrats, the majority party in the 40-member chamber.
Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester, also landed a top spot. She was named assistant majority whip.
Sen. James B. Eldridge, D-Acton, was named chairman of the Joint Committee on Housing.
Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Worcester, was named chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education.
Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, was named chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
Senate President Therese Murray doled out the assignments Thursday after calling members into the Senate Reading Room.
She passed out papers telling each member only his or her own assignment.
They then compared notes amid smiles and frowns.