(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-DenverRep.-elect Donald Valdez, D-La Jara AppropriationsRep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, chairmanRep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, vice chairwomanRep. 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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