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Washington State Senate Democrats announce 2018 committee assignments

It’s a new day in Olympia. With the November 2017 general election soon to move into the history books, the Washington State Senate’s Democratic caucus is preparing to take over management of the chamber from the Republicans, who are giving up control thanks to Manka Dhingra’s victory in the 45th District.

Today, the soon-to-be majority caucus announced committee assignments and incoming committee chairs for 2018.

“We have a great, knowledgeable team ready to get to work for the people of this state,” Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson said in a statement.

“Our chairs and committee members are passionate about moving Washington households forward. They are also dedicated to good government and are firm in their belief that the committee process serves as a platform for people to interact and be heard by their representatives in Olympia.”

Here’s the complete list of incoming committee chairs and vice chairs:

  • Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks
    • Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (chair)
    • Sen. John McCoy (vice chair)
  • Economic Development & Trade
    • Sen. Maralyn Chase (Chair)
    • Sen. Dean Takko (vice chair)
  • Early Learning & K12 Education
    • Sen. Lisa Wellman (Chair)
    • Sen Christine Rolfes (vice chair)
  • Energy, Environment & Technology
    • Sen. Reuven Carlyle (chair)
    • Sen. Guy Palumbo (vice chair)
  • Financial Institutions & Insurance
    • Sen. Mark Mullet (chair)
    • Sen. Bob Hasegawa (vice chair)
  • Health & Long Term Care
    • Sen. Annette Cleveland (chair)
    • Sen. Patty Kuderer (vice chair)
  • Higher Education & Workforce Development
    • Sen. Kevin Ranker (chair)
    • Sen. Guy Palumbo (vice chair)
  • Human Services & Corrections
    • Sen. Jeannie Darneille (chair)
    • Sen. Manka Dhingra (vice chair)
  • Labor & Commerce
    • Sen. Karen Keiser (chair)
    • Sen. Bob Hasegawa (vice chair)
  • Law & Justice
    • Sen. Jamie Pedersen (chair)
    • Sen. Manka Dhingra (vice chair)
  • Local Government
    • Sen. Dean Takko (chair)
    • Sen. Guy Palumbo (vice chair)
  • State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections
    • Sen. Sam Hunt (chair)
    • Sen. Patty Kuderer (vice chair)
  • Transportation
    • Sen. Steve Hobbs (chair)
    • Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (vice chair)
  • Ways & Means
    • Sen. Christine Rolfes (chair)
    • Sen. David Frockt (vice chair /capital budget lead)

Each of the Eastside’s four Democratic senators will be either a committee chair or vice chair in 2018. Lisa Wellman of the 41st is heading up Early Learning & K-12 Education, Mark Mullet of the 5th is in charge of Financial Institutions & Insurance, Patty Kuderer will be the vice chair of State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections plus Health & Long Term Care, and Manka Dhingra of the 45th will be vice chair of Law & Justice plus Human Services & Corrections.

The 2018 leadership team is:

  • Majority Leader: Sharon Nelson
  • Deputy Majority Leader: Andy Billig
  • Caucus Chair: John McCoy
  • Vice Caucus Chair: Lisa Wellman
  • Floor Leader: Marko Liias
  • Assistant Floor Leader: Patty Kuderer
  • Whip: Rebecca Saldaña
  • Assistant Whip: Mark Mullet

And here is the complete list of committee assignments:

Committee assignments for 2018

The Washington State Senate Democratic caucus’ committee assignments for 2018

Senators from both parties are in Olympia this week for Committee Days. The Senate’s Committee Days began today and run through Wednesday; the House’s Committee Days begin Wednesday and run through Friday.

Republicans are still in charge of the Senate for a few more days. After Manka Dhingra is sworn in later this month, they’ll no longer have control.

Most of the Republicans currently serving as committee chairs will likely become ranking members once the majority flips, but the caucus also has the option of reshuffling its own committee assignments if it wishes.


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