House Democrats name their committee chairs

It's largely a stand-pat lineup but the majority party has formed two new committees.
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Rep. Chris Hurst

It's largely a stand-pat lineup but the majority party has formed two new committees.

The Washington House Democrats have created a new Commerce and Gaming Committee to cover gambling, alcohol, tobacco and gambling.

Its chair will be Rep. Chris Hurst, D- Enumclaw, who previously had been chairman of the former Government Accountability Committee, which handled recreational marijuana issues in the past. The new committee will handle at least some of the issues around marijuana.

The Democrats — the majority party in the House — also formed a General Government and Information Technology Committee to handle audits, information technology projects, general government matters, plus natural resources and corrections budgets, according to a House Democrats' press release. Rep. Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila, is its chairman.

Other than eliminating three appropriations subcommittees, the Democrats made only minor tweaks to the House's committee structures and chairships. On the House Higher Education Committee, Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, will be the new chair, replacing Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, who lost a re-election bid.

The same representatives will be chairs of the remaining committees. Those are: Appropriations, Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, chair; Capital Budget, Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish; Finance, Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle; Transportation, Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island Agriculture & Natural Resources, Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen; Business & Financial Services, Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma; Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs, Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, remains chairwoman; Early Learning & Human Services, Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park.

Also: Education, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle; Environment, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien; Health Care & Wellness, Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle; Judiciary, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma; Labor, Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett; Local Government, Rep. Dean Take, D-Longview; Public Safety, Rep. Roger Goodman, D- Kirkland; State Government, Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia; Technology & Economic Development, Rep. Jeff Morris, D- Mount Vernon.


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About the Authors & Contributors

John Stang

John Stang

John Stang is a freelance writer who often covers state government and the environment. He can be reached on email at and on Twitter at @johnstang_8