Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Speaker-designate McNulty names new House committee chairs

Incoming House speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, named new committee chairs Tuesday while stirring some controversy by changing the names of several of the panels.

The announcement follows last week's designation of a leadership team for the ascendant House GOP caucus.

"In these appointments, you will see a wide range of experience and leadership skills and a recognition of Colorado's geographic diversity," McNulty said in a statement.

The new committee chairs, and the committees they will lead, are:

* Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources - Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling
* Appropriations - Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen
* Economic and Business Development - Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs
* Education - Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs
* Finance - Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland
* Health and Environment - Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood
* Judiciary - Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs
* Local Government - Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran
* State, Veterans, and Military Affairs - Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton
* Transportation - Rep. Glenn Vaad, R-Mead

The names of three committees were changed.

McNulty dropped the word "labor" from the name of the committee to be chaired by Liston and the word "energy" from the name of the committee to be chaired by Vaad. He also dropped the words "human services" from the name of the committee to be chaired by Summers.

New House Democratic leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, criticized the name changes.

“These are troubling deletions,” he said in a statement. “With the removal of the words like labor and human services, I’m concerned that working families and the neediest among us, including children who require protective services, are being shunted aside for special interests.”

The House GOP caucus announced Nov. 4 that Rep. Amy Stephens of Monument will be the majority leader in the 68th General Assembly. Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, will be the assistant majority leader, while Rep. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, will be majority whip. Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, will be the majority caucus chair.

The Republican minority leader during the past several legislative sessions, Mike May of Parker, will leave the legislature in January due to term limits. May's assistant minority leader, David Balmer of Centennial, was re-elected this month but will not be part of the GOP's leadership team when the next legislative session begins.

Photo of Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, courtesy Wikimedia.