Washington: Kumar P Barve, the first Indian-American to be elected to a US state legislature, is set to lead a new House panel in Maryland.
Barve, 56, has served since 2003 as House majority leader. He has been sitting on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Barve was tapped to lead the new Environment and Transportation Committee, Speaker Michael E Busch said.
"Delegate Barve has demonstrated time and time again his command of complex issues and he is a natural choice of someone to guide State environment and transportation policy," Busch said in a statement.
Anne R Kaiser of Calverton will take over as the House majority leader, the statement said.
Barve, who has been a delegate since 1991, will leave his seat on the Ways and Means Committee to assume his new post. The lawmaker said he felt great about the appointment and is excited to get started.
The committee, which was formerly the Environmental Matters Committee, will tackle both environmental and transportation issues. Barve said he believes the decision to bring together both subjects under one committee is a smart and sensible move.
"I think there's an understanding that the two issues do tend to go together," Barve said. "The environment and how we move people from point A to point B are intricately related."
In his new role, Barve said fellow lawmakers and constituents can expect him to be an impartial leader and a proponent of roads and transit.