(Dec. 1) – After gaining an expanded Democratic majority this November, Speaker-designate Crisanta Duran announced the appointment this morning of new chairs for nine of the 11 House committees of reference in the 71st General Assembly, which begins Jan. 11. Speaker-designate Duran also announced the vice chairs and other Democratic members of all 11 House committees of reference. Because they are the first stop in a bill’s journey toward becoming law, the committees of reference play a crucial role in every bill’s success or failure.

“Our new leadership is passionate and experienced, with a mix of backgrounds and skills that reflect the people of Colorado as a whole,” Speaker-designate Duran said. “I have great confidence in their leadership as we get to work on solutions that will put people first and move Colorado forward.”

She also appointed Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, as her speaker pro tempore, who will preside over the House when the speaker is absent.

“Rep. Danielson has proven to be a master at the art of conciliation and consensus seeking,” said Speaker-designate Duran. “She values hard work as much as any Coloradan and I will be proud to serve with her.”

The committee chairs and vice chairs announced today are:

Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins, on the Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee, succeeding the term-limited Rep. Ed Vigil, D-Alamosa. Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, becomes vice chairwoman of Ag, replacing Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder, who leaves the committee to take on the full-time duties of majority leader.

Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, on the Business Affairs & Labor Committee, succeeding term-limited Senator-elect Angela Williams, D-Denver. Replacing Rep. Kraft-Tharp as vice chairwoman of the committee is Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster.

Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, on the Finance Committee, succeeding the term-limited, Senate-bound Lois Court, D-Denver. Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, remains vice chairman.

Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, who succeeds term-limited Senator-elect Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, on the Judiciary Committee. Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, replaces Rep. Lee as vice chairman.

Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, on the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee, replacing the term-limited Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver. The new vice chairwoman of HIE is Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo.

Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, who succeeds the Senate-bound Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, on the Local Government Committee.  Replacing Rep. Lebsock as vice chairman of the committee is Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver.

Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, on the Public Health & Human Services Committee, replacing the term-limited Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield. Rep. Danielson is the new vice chairwoman, succeeding Rep. Singer.

Rep. Foote, who succeeds the term-limited Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, on the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, will continue as vice chairwoman.

Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, on the Transportation & Energy Committee. She had been vice chair under the term-limited Rep. Max Tyler, D-Lakewood. Rep. Mitsch-Bush’s new vice chair is Rep. Winter.

Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, will continue to serve as chairwoman of the Education Committee, and Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, continues as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Pettersen’s new vice chairwoman is Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, replacing Rep. Lee, who steps down from the vice chairmanship (but remains on the committee) as he takes on the demands of the Judiciary Committee chairmanship.

Following the tradition of having the majority members of the Joint Budget Committee serve as the Appropriations Committee leadership, Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, will continue as Rep. Young’s vice chairwoman.

Here is the complete list of Speaker-designate Duran’s committee-of-reference appointments:

Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources
Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins, chairwoman
Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, vice chairwoman
Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge
Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo
Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton
Rep.-elect Chris Hansen, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Donald Valdez, D-La Jara

Appropriations
Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, chairman
Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, vice chairwoman
Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge
Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver
Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada
Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver
Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster
Rep.-elect Chris Hansen, D-Denver

Business Affairs & Labor
Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, chairwoman
Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, vice chairwoman
Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins
Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver
Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver
Rep.-elect James Coleman, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Matt Gray, D-Broomfield

Education
Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, chairwoman
Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, vice chairwoman
Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver
Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs
Rep. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village
Rep.-elect Tony Exum Sr., D-Colorado Springs
Rep.-elect Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango

Finance
Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, chairman
Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, vice chairman
Rep.-elect Adrienne Benavidez, D-Commerce City
Rep.-elect Matt Gray, D-Broomfield
Rep.-elect Leslie Herod, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood
Rep.-elect Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City

Health, Insurance & Environment
Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, chairwoman
Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, vice chairwoman
Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora
Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora
Rep.-elect Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood

Judiciary
Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, chairman
Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, vice chairman
Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette
Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora
Rep.-elect Adrienne Benavidez, D-Commerce City
Rep.-elect Leslie Herod, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Mike Weissman, D-Aurora

Local Government
Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, chairman
Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, vice chairman
Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont
Rep.-elect James Coleman, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Tony Exum Sr., D-Colorado Springs
Rep.-elect Matt Gray, D-Broomfield
Rep.-elect Donald Valdez, D-La Jara

Public Health & Human Services
Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, chairman
Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, vice chairwoman
Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins
Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver
Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood
Rep.-elect Edie Hooton, D-Boulder
Rep.-elect Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City

State, Veterans & Military Affairs
Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, chairman
Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, vice chairwoman
Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora
Rep.-elect Adrienne Benavidez, D-Commerce City
Rep.-elect Edie Hooton, D-Boulder
Rep.-elect Mike Weissman, D-Aurora

Transportation & Energy
Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, chairwoman
Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, vice chairwoman
Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo
Rep. Joann Ginal, D- Fort Collins
Rep.-elect Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village
Rep.-elect Chris Hansen, D-Denver
Rep.-elect Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora
Rep.-elect Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango

Because the November elections increased the House Democrats’ majority to 37-28, the Democrats will have expanded majorities on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Transportation & Energy and State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committees. Speaker-designate Duran also adjusted the size of several committees. The Education, Finance and Local Government Committees will have 13 members instead of 11, while the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee will have 11 members instead of 13.

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