Few Surprises in State Senate Committee Leadership

December 3, 2012

 COMMITTEE CHANGES:  20 Democrats will comprise the majority of Colorado’s 35-member Senate

DENVER– State Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll released the names of Democrat senators assigned to 10 committees for the upcoming 69th General Assembly. Most of the new leadership positions build on previous committee experience, but a few Senators will traverse new territories. 

Newly assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee are Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) and Senator-elect Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) as chair and vice chair, respectively.

More predictable was utilizing their past experience on education committees – Heath in the Senate, Todd in the House. Heath will serve as the Senate Education Committee vice chair and Todd as a member.

Though Senator Angela Giron has never served on the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, the Pueblo Democrat will chair the Senate committee. Giron was also named vice chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, a position that utilizes her two-year experience as a committee member.

Somewhat surprising was the advancement of Health and Human Services committee member Senator Irene Aguilar, a Denver physician, to chair over Senator Linda Newell of Littleton, who will continue as vice chair, a position she’s held for the past two legislative sessions. Aguilar was also named Senate Assistant Majority Leader and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Our Senators have backgrounds as nurses, lawyers, teachers, nonprofit advocates, entrepreneurs, and in the ministry,” said Carroll. “My goal was to put that expertise to good use.”

Senate President-designee John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) called the committee appointments “smart and focused on the needs of the people of Colorado.”

In the coming legislative session,20 Democrats will comprise the majority of Colorado’s 35-member Senate. The new leadership includes Senate President Pro Tempore-designee Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), Caucus Chair Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin County) and Majority Whip Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass).

Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy:  Schwartz, chair; Giron, vice chair; Senator-elect Matt Jones (D-Louisville), member.

Appropriations:  Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton), chair; Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver), vice chair; Heath and Senator-elect Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City), members.

Business, Labor, and Technology:  Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton), chair; Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge), vice chair; Heath, member.

Education:  Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster), chair; Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver), vice chair; Heath, Senators-elect Todd and Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), members.

Finance:  Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver), chair; Senator-elect Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), vice chair; Jahn, member.

Health and Human Services:  Aguilar, chair; Newell, vice chair; Nicholson and Senator-elect John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins), members.

Judiciary: Guzman, chair; Ulibarri, vice chair; Aguilar, member.

Local Government:  Nicholson, chair; Kefalas, vice chair; Schwartz, member.

State, Veterans, and Military Affairs: Giron, chair; Jones, vice chair; Hudak, member.

Transportation:  Heath, chair; Todd, vice chair; Jones, member.

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