An architect and past AIA-Ohio President will Chair the most important Committee of the next Ohio General Assembly.  


Senate President-elect Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) announced Friday that he will appoint Sen. Chris Widener, FAIA (R-Springfield) chair of the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee in the 129th General Assembly. Widener currently serves as the panel’s vice chairman.


“There is no secret that this is going to be a very challenging budget and that the budget bill is the single most important

piece of legislation we will do next year,” Niehaus said in a prepared statement. “Anyone who has worked with Chris

Widener knows him to be knowledgeable, hard-working, thorough and a good listener. He is the right senator at the right

time to head the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee.”


“My highest priority is to ensure Ohio gets back on sound financial footing so we can create an atmosphere that will bring

new jobs and economic investment to every region of the state ,” Widener said. “I am honored by Sen. Niehaus’ confidence

in me and look forward to digging in and getting to work alongside House Chairman Amstutz and Gov.-elect Kasich on a

fiscally sound, balanced state budget bill.”


Widener has served in the Ohio Senate since 2009, representing the residents of Clark, Greene and Madison counties. Prior

to that, he served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999-2000 and then from 2003-2008. A fiscal conservative,

Widener has been recognized numerous times as a “Watchdog of the Treasury.”


He currently chairs the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.


Widener, an architect by profession, resides in Springfield with his wife Sally and two children. Niehaus said that the rest of the committee assignments will be made at the beginning of the next General Assembly which convenes Jan. 3, 2011. However, Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro), who is co-chair of the Legislature’s Budget Planning and Management Commission, has been rumored to be the Senate Finance vice chair pick.