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BOSTON (AP) — State Sen. Karen Spilka says she anticipates a respectful and smooth transition of power in the Massachusetts Senate, but is leaving open the question of when the changeover might occur.

The Ashland Democrat spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since announcing she had secured enough votes in the chamber to be the next Senate president.

Spilka said it’s up to her fellow senators to determine the timing of the transition. She remains chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Senate President Harriette Chandler says now is not the best time to transfer power. The Legislature faces a July 31 deadline for completing action on major bills.

Chandler, a Worcester Democrat, assumed the top post after Sen. Stan Rosenberg stepped down from the presidency in December.