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December 21, 2010 at 4:28 PM

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Rep. Ross Hunter named chairman of House Ways and Means Committee

Posted by Andrew Garber

State Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, is the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He replaces Rep. Kelli Linville, D-Bellingham, who lost to a Republican challenger in the November election.

The House Ways and Means chair is one of the most powerful jobs in the state Legislature, serving as one of the lead architects of the state budget. Hunter, in a way, gets to keep his old job as chairman of the House Finance Committee as well. That panel was eliminated and absorbed into Ways and Means.

Hunter's counterpart in the Senate is Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, chairman of that chamber's Ways and Means Committee. Both men will play key roles in figuring out a way to close a projected $4.6 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget. The Legislature will meet in January to start working on closing that gap.

You can see all the committee assignments here.

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