Washington State House Democrats Select New Committee Chairs

The Democrats in the House have finalized their committees for the 2009-2010 Washington State Legislative session and have selected the committee chairs. The Legislature will convene its session on the 2nd Monday of January which is January 12, 2009. It is a 105 day session lasting until April 26, 2009.

The session will be constrained by the current financial crisis which projects a $5 billion dollar budget shortfall. Governor Gregoire will release her preliminary budget later this month.

2009-2010 House Committees and Chairs are:

Agriculture and Natural Resources: Brian Blake (Aberdeen)
Audit Review and Oversight: Mark Miloscia (Federal Way)
Capital Budget: Hans Dunshee (Snohomish)
Commerce and Labor: Steve Conway (Tacoma)
Community and Economic Development and Trade: Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (Seattle)
Early Learning and Children’s Services: Ruth Kagi (Lake Forest Park)
Ecology and Parks: Dave Upthegrove (Des Moines)
Education: Dave Quall (Mount Vernon)
Education Appropriations: Kathy Haigh (Shelton)
Environmental Health: Tom Campbell (Roy)
Finance: Ross Hunter (Medina)
Financial Institutions and Insurance: Steve Kirby (Tacoma)
General Government Appropriations: Jeannie Darneille (Tacoma)
Health and Human Services Appropriations: Eric Pettigrew (Seattle)
Health Care and Wellness: Eileen Cody (Seattle)
Higher Education: Deb Wallace (Vancouver)
Human Services: Mary Lou Dickerson (Seattle)
Judiciary: Jamie Pedersen (Seattle)
Local Government and Housing: Geoff Simpson (Covington)
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness: Christopher Hurst (Enumclaw)
Rules: Frank Chopp (Seattle)
State Government and Tribal Affairs: Sam Hunt (Olympia)
Technology, Energy and Communications: John McCoy (Tulalip)
Transportation: Judy Clibborn (Mercer Island)
Ways and Means: Kelli Linville (Bellingham)

Additionally, two vice chairs were also selected:
Ways and Means: Mark Ericks (Bothell)
Capital Budget: Timm Ormsby (Spokane)

The Democrats note that “the major change in committee structure is the creation of the Ways and Means committee. The Education Appropriations, General Government Appropriations, and Health and Human Services Appropriations committees are now standing committees that will make funding recommendations to the Ways and Means committee.”

Back in November the House Democrats chose their leadership team:

Frank Chopp (Seattle) – Speaker-elect
Lynn Kessler (Hoquiam) – Majority Leader
Bill Grant (Walla-Walla) – Caucus Chair
Sharon Tomiko Santos (Seattle) – Majority Whip
Jeff Morris (Mount Vernon) – Speaker pro-tem-elect
Jim Moeller (Vancouver) – Deputy Speaker pro-tem-elect

Dec 10, 2008 update:
The House Democrats have selected the rest of their leadership team. In addition to the above names, the following were chosen to fill leadership roles:

Zack Hudgins (Tukwila)-Majority Floor Leader:
Larry Springer (Kirkland) – Majority Caucus Liaison:
Dawn Morrell (Puyallup) – Caucus Vice Chair:
Tami Green (Lakewood) – Assistant Majority Floor Leader:
Kevin Van De Wege (Sequim) – Deputy Majority Whip:

For more information and to track the bills, committee meetings, legislators and legislative action in the 2009 Washington State Legislative session go to www.leg.wa.gov and follow the links. The site is still not updated for 2009 Legislators because Legislators elected in 2007 serve through the end of their terms which is Dec 31, 2008. The site should be updated in January 2009.

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