Tacoma's Laurie Jinkins gets a chairwoman's gavel

Staff writerJanuary 6, 2014 

The Legislature's mid-term game of musical chairs is paying off for some lawmakers whose profiles are rising, including Tacoma Rep. Laurie Jinkins.

Majority Democrats made Jinkins the new chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has authority over many issues related to courts and crimes -- including the hot topic of gun regulation.

Jinkins replaces former chairman Jamie Pedersen, who moved to the Senate to replace Ed Murray, now Seattle's mayor.

A second-term Democrat, Jinkins is a public health official and a lawyer who took part in the successful legal challenge of Tim Eyman-sponsored tax restrictions placed by voters on the Legislature.

House Democrats also promoted Joe Fitzgibbon to lead the Environment Committee and Sherry Appleton to chair the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee -- both replacing lawmakers who left the House.

Another result of lawmakers' exits: A couple of local districts will start the 2014 legislative session next Monday without full representation.

Pierce County says the county council tentatively plans to convene Jan. 14 to appoint a replacement for Gary Alexander of Olympia (a joint appointment with Thurston County) and perhaps Jan. 17 to replace Jan Angel of Port Orchard (a joint appointment with Kitsap County.)


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