Today President Niederhauser, with unanimous support of the Senate Majority Caucus, named Senator Kevin Van Tassell as Senate Majority Leader Pro Tem. Senator Van Tassell, who was serving as the Senate Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, will temporarily fill the duties and responsibilities of the Senate Majority Leader. Additonally, President Niederhauser has appointed Senator Evan Vickers to temporarily fill the position of Senate Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee.
This temporary change was made due to the health consideration of Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund and the increasing workload of the legislative session. Senator Okerlund has begun the process of being evaluated by doctors for potential heart and kidney transplants. As this intensive medical process requires more of Senator Okerlund’s time and attention, Senator Van Tassell will help ensure the additional responsibilities of this leadership position are fulfilled.
“I want to express our love, appreciation, and respect for Senator Okerlund. While the work of legislature continues, these temporary changes will allow him to focus on what is most important — his health and family,” said President Niederhauser. “I appreciate Senator Van Tassell and Senator Vickers for helping temporarily fulfill these duties. I have complete confidence in them and look forward to their contributions to the success of this legislative session.”
Upon Senator Okerlund’s return, Senator Van Tassell and Senator Vickers will return to their prior positions.