OLYMPIA -- Senate Republicans released their list of committee assignments today, and Spokane's freshman Sen. Michael Baumgartner appears to be someone they're putting a lot of stock in.
Baumgartner will start his first day in the Legislature as ranking Republican on the Senate Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee. He also gets a spot on Higher Education and Workforce Development and Ways and Means (aka a Colleges and "How get and spend your money")
Not bad for a freshly minted legislator. But there are some perks that come with knocking off an incumbent from the other party, as Baumgartner did in ousting Chris Marr.
Northeast Washington's Bob Morton is the ranking Republican on the Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee and has a seat on Environment, Water and Energy.
Spokane Valley's Bob McCaslin, the Senate's most senior member who missed much of last session with health problems, is on Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections and Judiciary.
Southeast Washington's Mark Schoesler will serve as Republican floor leader and have seats on Ways and Means, Rules, and Agriculture and Rural Economic Development.