Issaquah legislators receive assignments to influential committees

December 29, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4 p.m. Dec. 29, 2010

Issaquah legislators continue to pick up key committees assignments, lending area residents a stronger stake in education and fiscal matters.

Legislators return to Olympia on Jan. 5 for the regular session — and to confront a $4.6 billion budget gap.

Issaquah is spread across the 5th, 4lst and 48th legislative districts. The local delegation includes a half-dozen representatives and three senators.

State Sen. Steve Litzow, a Republican freshman from Mercer Island, has been named the ranking member on the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. GOP senators also selected Litzow for the Transportation and the Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance committees.

“Education is my No. 1 priority as a legislator,” he said in a statement. “During my campaign, I promised to put our schools first. I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me for this leadership role. I look forward to working with 41st District parents and teachers, and with stakeholders across the state on issues that affect our schools and our children.”

Litzow represents Cougar Mountain neighborhoods in Issaquah and other 41st Legislative District communities.

Sen. Rodney Tom is line to lead the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee, the panel responsible for public universities, colleges and technical schools. Colleagues also selected the Bellevue Democrat for the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee. The legislator serves alongside Litzow on the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.

Tom represents South Cove and other neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish in the 48th Legislative District.

Sen. Cheryl Pflug has been tapped as the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, the panel responsible for legislation connected criminal penalties and sentencing, plus other criminal justice issues. Colleagues picked the Maple Valley Republican to the Rules and the Ways & Means committees. Pflug, a registered nurse, also serves on the Health & Long-Term Care Committee.

Senate Republicans released committee assignments Wednesday. Democrats in the state House of Representatives and Senate firmed up committee assignments earlier in the month.

In the Issaquah delegation, Rep. Marcie Maxwell has been selected for the Education, Education Appropriations & Oversight, Community Development & Housing, and Rules committees. Rep. Judy Clibborn remains chairwoman of the influential Transportation Committee, and the Mercer Island Democrat also serves on the Health Care & Wellness Committee. Maxwell and Clibborn represent the 41st District.

In the neighboring 48th District, Rep. Ross Hunter leads the Ways & Means Committee. Rep. Deb Eddy has been tapped for the Judiciary, Rules, Technology, Energy & Communications, and Transportation committees.

House Republicans had not announced committee assignments by Wednesday, so committee assignments for GOP Reps. Glenn Anderson and Jay Rodne — the 5th District legislators — remain undefined.

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