Republicans have ended a power-sharing arrangement in the state Senate after two years of letting Democrats hold leadership positions in some committees.
When Democratic defections allowed Republicans to take over the Senate in December 2012, they offered to make some members of the minority Senate Democratic Caucus the chairmen or co-chairmen of selected committees.
Most refused the offer, but Democrats Tracey Eide of Des Moines, Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens and Brian Hatfield of Raymond accepted.
“This new caucus will conduct the Senate’s business in a truly bipartisan way, sharing committee control and governing together,” GOP leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville said at the time in a statement announcing a new Majority Coalition Caucus.
But Republicans won an outright majority in last month’s election, and while they kept the name and made Schoesler majority leader, they announced Tuesday a committee structure entirely led by Republicans.
Democrats will continue to lead all committees in the House after voters cut their majority down by four members.
Changes in both chambers include:
Other South Sound lawmakers kept their committee chairmanships, including Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, on Health Care; Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, on Governmental Operations; Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, on the renamed House State Government; Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, on House Judiciary; and Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, on the House business and banking committee.
There are changes in each majority’s leadership roster. In the House, Kris Lytton of Anacortes will replace Tami Green of Lakewood as Democrats’ floor leader. Green was defeated in a bid for the Senate.
Dammeier won’t lead a committee but will now be the vice-chairman of three key committees dealing with education, health care and the budget.
The 105-day legislative session starts Jan. 12.