OK, scratch that - the House leadership has decided not to release the list of new committee chairs until it's formally read across the desk in the morning. Word already is out about many of them; Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, is in line to become the new Health & Welfare chairman; Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, is headed for the Education Committee chairmanship; and JFAC Co-Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, will continue in her role.
Health & Welfare will now be a morning committee, a change that means Wood no longer will be able to serve on JFAC. “I liked JFAC … it was fun, it was interesting,” Wood said. “Been there six years, and it's time to move on.” A physician, he said he sought the Health & Welfare chairmanship, and this will be a key year for that panel, with big issues in store. “There will be a lot of discussion,” he said, “as opposed to trying to run major pieces of legislation without having full discussion in both caucuses of the House about what the legislation is, what the implications of the legislation is, etc. I think that's a good thing, that is a welcome change in the future as opposed to how sometimes we've done it in the past.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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