Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle is the pick of Democratic leadership to take the most important budget-writing job in the state Senate.
If rank-and-file Democrats sign off on a panel’s recommendations announced today, Murray will chair the Ways and Means Committee. That sets off a series of dominoes that will boost South Sound lawmakers like Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor and Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County.
Fraser will ask Democrats to give her Murray’s old job, majority caucus chair. That would mean the top three leadership positions in the Senate would be held by women, including Sen. Tracey Eide of Federal Way as floor leader.
Fraser’s role leading the capital budget, meanwhile, would go to Kilmer under the Committee on Committees’ recommendations. (Kilmer’s committee on higher education would be handed off to Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina).
Here’s the full news release:
Recommended Senate committee chairs announced
OLYMPIA – Today, a panel of majority Democrats in the state Senate recommended to their full Democratic caucus the following slate of committee chairs for the next two years:
Agriculture & Rural Economic Development
Chair: Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond
Early Learning & K-12 Education
Chair: Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell
Economic Development, Trade & Innovation
Chair: Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup
Environment, Water & Energy
Chair: Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Kitsap County
Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance
Chair: Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens (new)
Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections
(formerly Government Operations & Elections)
Chair: Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver (new)
Health & Long-Term Care
Chair: Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent
Higher Education & Workforce Development
Chair: Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina (new)
Human Services & Corrections
Chair: Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam
Chair: Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle
Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection
Chair: Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle
Natural Resources & Marine Waters
(formerly Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation)
Chair: Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan (new)
Chair: Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island
Vice chair: Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle (new)
Ways & Means
Chair: Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle
Vice chair of capital budget: Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor (new)
Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, has announced that she will run for the leadership position of President Pro Tempore, and Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County, has announced she will run for the leadership position of Majority Caucus Chair. Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, has announced her desire to remain Majority Floor Leader.
Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, was re-elected as Majority Leader by her Democratic colleagues early last week.
The committee chair recommendations and remaining leadership positions will be voted on by the full majority caucus during December Committee Assembly days, scheduled for Dec. 7 and 8.