Tag Archives: House of Representatives

Washington State House of Representatives Reorganizes Committees for 2011-2012 Session

For the 2011-2012 Legislative Session, the Olympia House of Representatives will have 21 Standing Committees:

Agriculture & Natural Resources (AGNR)

Business & Financial Services (BFS)

Capital Budget (CB)

Community Development & Housing (CDH)

Early Learning & Human Services (ELHS)

Education (ED)

Education Appropriations & Oversight (APPE)

Environment (ENVI)

General Government Appropriations & Oversight (APPG)

Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight (APPH)

Health Care & Wellness (HCW)

Higher Education (HE)

Judiciary (JUDI)

Labor & Workforce Development (LWD)

Local Government (LG)

Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness (PSEP)

Rules (RUL)

State Government & Tribal Affairs (SGTA)

Technology, Energy & Communications (TEC)

Transportation (TR)

Ways & Means (WAYS)

2011-12 House Standing Committees/Issue Areas

Please note: This is a general description of issue areas considered by committees; not a definitive or exhaustive listing. It is provided solely to assist members in requesting committee assignments.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee considers issues relating to agricultural production, marketing, and sales; animal and plant disease control; fisheries and wildlife; forest practices and forest fire protection; water; and mining. The committee also considers the management of certain state-owned lands.

Business & Financial Services

The House Business & Financial Services Committee considers the licensing and regulation of businesses and professions (except for health care professions). The committee also considers issues relating to insurance, including the activities of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency, the solvency of insurance companies, and the rates and practices of insurance companies. Financial services issues include the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, the regulation of consumer credit and lending, and the regulation of securities and investments. The committee also considers consumer protection issues relating to motor vehicles, financial services, and insurance.

Capital Budget

The House Capital Budget Committee considers the state capital budget which approves money for the construction and repair of public buildings and for other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. In addition, the committee considers state money that is either given or lent to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing, and cultural and heritage facilities. The committee also considers legislation that authorizes state debt and legislation that affects state buildings and land.

Community Development and Housing

The House Community Development and Housing Committee considers issues relating to the economic and social vitality of communities, including the establishment and operation of special districts that provide community services, community development funding, strategies to build self-sufficiency for low income communities, small business, business assistance and financing, tourism, and trade. Housing issues considered by the committee include the accessibility and affordability of housing, state assistance to low-income housing, housing authorities and the Housing Finance Commission.

Early Learning & Human Services

The House Early Learning and Human Services Committee considers issues relating to early learning from birth to kindergarten, as well as a broad array of issues affecting children and families, including parent education, foster care, dependency, child protective services, child welfare services, children’s mental health and family reconciliation services. The committee also considers family support programs, including TANF and Disability Lifeline, issues relating to persons with developmental disabilities, adults in need of drug and alcohol treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and at risk-youth, youth violence prevention and juvenile offenders.


The House Education Committee considers kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) educational policy and finance issues.

Education Appropriations & Oversight

The House Education Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of early learning, K-12, and higher education programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to early learning, K-12 and higher education with limited fiscal impact.


The House Environment Committee considers issues relating to climate change, renewable energy standards, recycling and solid waste, hazardous waste, toxics, air quality, aquatic lands, oil spill prevention, the State Environmental Policy Act, and parks and recreation. The committee also oversees the Puget Sound Partnership’s activities in Puget Sound and Hood Canal.

General Government Appropriations & Oversight

The House General Government Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of general government, natural resources and corrections programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to general government, natural resources and corrections with limited fiscal impact.

Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight

The House Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of health and human services programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to health and human services with limited fiscal impact.

Health Care & Wellness

The House Health Care and Wellness Committee considers a broad range of issues relating to the provision of physical and mental health care services, long-term care, and strategies to promote better health. Health care service issues include the licensing and regulation of health care facilities and the credentialing of health care providers. The committee also regulates pharmacies and pharmaceutical drugs, and has oversight and regulatory responsibility for state and local public health programs. The committee also considers issues relating to the accessibility and affordability of health care in both the private health insurance market and public health programs such as Medicaid and the basic health plan.

Higher Education

The House Higher Education Committee considers issues relating to the state’s public and independent baccalaureate colleges and universities, public community and technical colleges, and private career schools. Issues include governance and coordination of higher education, financial aid, tuition, distance learning, and the licensing of private colleges and career schools.


The House Judiciary Committee considers a wide variety of subjects relating to civil and criminal law, including issues involving commercial law, torts, probate, guardianships, civil commitment, drunk driving, courts and judicial administration, landlord/tenant law, and Consumer Protection Act remedies and processes; and family law issues such as marriage, marriage dissolution, child support and adoption.

Labor & Workforce Development

The House Labor and Workforce Development Committee considers issues relating to industrial insurance, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, and employment standards, such as wage laws and employment discrimination. The committee also considers issues relating to the building and construction trades, and workforce development issues, including apprenticeships, job skills and working retraining, and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act.

Local Government

The House Local Government Committee considers issues relating to the operations and financing of counties, cities, and some special districts. The committee also considers issues relating to the Growth Management Act and related land use issues, such as local permitting and the subdivision of property.

Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness

The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee considers issues relating to law enforcement agencies, crime prevention, criminal penalties and sentencing, registration and civil commitment of sex offenders, adult correctional programs and institutions, mentally ill offenders, and state and local government preparedness to respond to public emergencies, including the interoperability of emergency communications systems.


The House Rules Committee considers all bills reported from policy and fiscal committees and determines whether, and in what order, to schedule their consideration on the floor of the House. The Rules Committee also reviews, adopts and schedules consideration of floor resolutions.

State Government & Tribal Affairs

The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee considers issues relating to the processes of government, including state agency rule-making, state government reorganization, elections and campaign finance, public disclosure, ethics in government, procurement standards, and public employment. The committee also oversees various state agencies and officials, and considers the regulation and oversight of liquor, tobacco and gambling, and issues relating to veterans and the government-to-government relationship of the state and Indian tribes.

Technology, Energy & Communications

The House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee considers deployment, regulation, and access to technology and electronic communications; energy availability, production, and conservation; and related infrastructure issues.


The House Transportation Committee considers the transportation budget, revenue sources for transportation funding, and issues relating to transportation policy and transportation agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol.

Ways & Means

The House Ways and Means Committee considers the operating budget bill, global fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation, and bills with larger fiscal impacts. The committee also coordinates the work of the Education Appropriations & Oversight, General Government Appropriations & Oversight, and Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committees in developing the operating budget. The committee also considers issues relating to state and local revenues, such as increases or decreases in taxes, exemptions from taxes, and changes in the administration of taxes. (Note: Issues involving revenue for transportation purposes, such as gasoline taxes, are usually considered by the House Transportation Committee.)

The above information is courtesy of Seth Dawson.

For more information and to track legislative bills go to www.leg.wa.gov.

Washington State House Democratic Caucus Assigns Members to Committees

The House Democratic Caucus in the Washington State Legislature has announced its committee assignments for House Democrats for the 2009 -2010 Legislative session starting in January. The official Washington State Legislative website at www.leg.wa.gov has not yet been updated for the 2009 – 2010 session since Legislators for the last session serve through the end of 2008.

This information is taken from the House Democratic caucus website which is a good site to visit to keep up on what is happening prior to the session and during the session by the Democrats which control the House.

Committee Assignments for 2009 -2010 Democratic Legislators:

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Chair: Brian Blake
Vice Chair: Jim Jacks
Bill Grant, Christopher Hurst, John McCoy, Sharon Nelson, Timm Ormsby, Kevin Van De Wege

Audit Review and Oversight
Chair: Mark Miloscia
Vice Chair: Brendan Williams
Frank Chopp, Fred Finn, Tami Green, Bob Hasegawa, Troy Kelley, Kelli Linville, Jeff Morris, Deb Wallace

Capital Budget
Chair: Hans Dunshee
Vice Chair: Timm Ormsby
Brian Blake, Maralyn Chase, Jim Jacks, Marcie Maxwell, Tina Orwall, Scott White

Commerce and Labor
Chair: Steve Conway
Vice Chair: Alex Wood
Tami Green, Jim Moeller, Brendan Williams

Community and Economic Development and Trade
Chair: Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney
Vice Chair: Marcie Maxwell
Maralyn Chase, Marko Liias, Tim Probst, Pat Sullivan

Early Learning and Children’s Services
Chair: Ruth Kagi
Vice Chair: Mary Helen Roberts
Roger Goodman, Larry Seaquist

Ecology and Parks
Chair: Dave Upthegrove
Vice Chair: Christine Rolfes
Maralyn Chase, Mary Lou Dickerson, Hans Dunshee, Deb Eddy, Fred Finn, Zack Hudgins, Jeff Morris

Chair: Dave Quall
Vice Chair: Tim Probst
Sam Hunt, Marko Liias, Marcie Maxwell, Tina Orwall, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Pat Sullivan

Education Appropriations
Chair: Kathy Haigh
Vice Chair: Pat Sullivan
Reuven Carlyle, Ross Hunter, Ruth Kagi, Tim Probst, Dave Quall, Christine Rolfes, Deb Wallace

Environmental Health
Chair: Tom Campbell
Vice Chair: Maralyn Chase
Mary Lou Dickerson, Hans Dunshee, Fred Finn, Zack Hudgins, Christine Rolfes

Chair: Ross Hunter
Vice Chair: Bob Hasegawa
Steve Conway, Mark Ericks, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Larry Springer

Financial Institutions and Insurance
Chair: Steve Kirby
Vice Chair: Troy Kelley
Christopher Hurst, John McCoy, Sharon Nelson, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Geoff Simpson

General Government Appropriations
Chair: Jeannie Darneille
Vice Chair: Dean Takko
Brian Blake, Hans Dunshee, Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Jamie Pedersen, Mike Sells, Kevin Van De Wege, Brendan Williams

Health and Human Services Appropriations
Chair: Eric Pettigrew
Vice Chair: Larry Seaquist
Sherry Appleton, Eileen Cody, Mary Lou Dickerson, Mark Miloscia, Dawn Morrell, Al O’Brien, Mary Helen Roberts, Alex Wood

Health Care and Wellness
Chair: Eileen Cody
Vice Chair: John Driscoll
Tami Green, Troy Kelley, Jim Moeller, Dawn Morrell, Jamie Pedersen

Higher Education
Chair: Deb Wallace
Vice Chair: Mike Sells
Reuven Carlyle, John Driscoll, Bob Hasegawa, Scott White

Human Services
Chair: Mary Lou Dickerson
Vice Chair: Tina Orwall, Tami Green, Dawn Morrell, Al O’Brien

Chair: Jamie Pedersen
Vice Chair: Roger Goodman
Dennis Flannigan, Troy Kelley, Steve Kirby, Timm Ormsby, Mary Helen Roberts

Local Government and Housing
Chair: Geoff Simpson
Vice Chair: Sharon Nelson
Mark Miloscia, Larry Springer, Dave Upthegrove, Scott White, Brendan Williams

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Chair: Christopher Hurst
Vice Chair: Al O’Brien
Sherry Appleton, Roger Goodman, Steve Kirby, Mary Helen Roberts

Chair: Frank Chopp
Deb Eddy,Mark Ericks, Bill Grant, Tami Green, Bob Hasegawa, Zack Hudgins, Troy Kelley, Lynn Kessler, Jim Moeller, Dawn Morrell, Jeff Morris, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Larry Springer, Kevin Van De Wege

State Government and Tribal Affairs
Chair: Sam Hunt
Vice-Chair: Sherry Appleton
Dennis Flannigan, Zack Hudgins, Mark Miloscia

Technology, Energy and Communications
Chair: John McCoy
Vice Chair: Deb Eddy
Reuven Carlyle, Fred Finn, Bob Hasegawa, Zack Hudgins, Jim Jacks, Jeff Morris, Dean Takko, Kevin Van De Wege

Chair: Judy Clibborn
Vice Chair: Marko Liias
Mary Lou Dickerson, John Driscoll, Deb Eddy, Fred Finn, Dennis Flannigan, Jim Moeller, Jeff Morris, Christine Rolfes, Mike Sells, Geoff Simpson, Larry Springer, Dean Takko, Dave Upthegrove, Deb Wallace, Brendan Williams, Alex Wood

Ways and Means
Chair: Kelli Linville
Vice Chair: Mark Ericks
Eileen Cody,Steve Conway, Jeannie Darneille, Bill Grant, Kathy Haigh, Sam Hunt, Ross Hunter, Ruth Kagi, Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Lynn Kessler, Eric Pettigrew, Larry Seaquist, Pat Sullivan

The House Republicans on Dec 18, 2008 announced their lead minority committee members but I don’t see any announcement yet of what committees House members not in leadership will serve on.

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.