I know I’m getting ahead of myself, and ahead of Speaker Frank Chopp, but I’m wondering who is going to replace state Rep. Helen Sommers, D-Seattle, as chair of House Appropriations Committee in 2009.
Sommers didn’t run for reelection. She’s taking her 36 years of institutional legislative memory and keen insights into the state budget into retirement.
That leaves Rep. Hans Dunshee of Snohomish
and Kelli Linville of Bellingham in the running for chair of the budget committee. Dunshee is vice chair of Approps right now. Linville is chair of the Approps subcommittee on General Government and Audit Review.
Linville has seniority. She was appointed in December ’95. Dunshee was elected November ’96. (Both had previous terms in the House, but lost in the Republican Revolution of 1994.) But the line of ascendency already has been established.
Rumor is, Frank will have to put Linville in as chair of Capital Budget as a consolation prize for not getting the top spot on Approps — Dunshee gets that — which means Spokane’s Timm Ormsby won’t be moving up from vice chair of Capital Budget to the top job.
Bill Fromhold, former chair of Capital Budget, created a vacancy there by taking another job outside the Legislature.