With Senate rules approved, the Committee On Assignments is finally passing out committee assignments.
There will be no change at the top of the Senate’s most powerful committee, as Don Balfour will remain Rules Chairman. The Rules Committee decides which legislation moves to the floor – or doesn’t – and under what form and rules it will be voted on.
Bill Heath picks up the Finance Committee vacated by Ronnie Chance, who is now serving as one of Governor Deal’s floor leaders. Chance instead picks up Economic Development, while fellow floor leader Jim Butterworth receives Chairmanship of the Higher Education Committee.
The Appropriations Committee will be under Jack Hill, while Judiciary will now be chaired by Bill Hamrick.
Reapportionment will be chaired by Mitch Seabaugh, which will face significant activity with all maps to be drawn sometime this year, most likely in a special session this summer. Rene Unterman will chair the Health and Human Services Committee.
David Shafer retains the Regulated Industries Committee, Jack Murphy chairs Banking.
Fran Millar will take Education, and Greg Goggans has Insurance. Barry Loudermilk will chair Science and Technology, and Butch Miller will head up SloGo.
In a sign that some fences may be mending, Jeff Mullis, perhaps Lt Governor Cagle’s closest ally in the Senate, has retained Chairmanship of the powerful Transportation Committee. This is hopefully a sign that the Senate has begin to put some of the pains of the recent unpleasantness behind them and are ready to move forward with the work on their plate.
In a move toward bi-partisanship, four Democratic Senators - Ed Harbison, Curt Thompson, Hardie Davis, and Ron Ramsey – will chair committees, though I have not yet received their specific assignments.
Jim Galloway has the full list of assignments, including officers and members of each committee, here.