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Delegates getting new committee assignments

January 15, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

ANNAPOLIS -- Committee changes in Maryland's House of Delegates have not yet been finalized, but three Washington County representatives say they already know they have been affected.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, will move from the appropriations committee to the ways and means committee. Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, will leave the judiciary committee he has served on since 2002, also to serve on ways and means - a committee focused on education, election law, financial topics and transportation, among other matters.

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, has served on the ways and means committee since being appointed to replace Del. Robert A. McKee last year.

The first organizational meeting of the ways and means committee was Thursday, and Myers and Shank attended.

Serafini did not, saying he was told he no longer would be serving on that committee. He said he was not given any idea on which of the House's six standing committees he would serve.

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Committee changes were made at the direction of Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel. It is likely they will be announced today. Shank said about 12 lawmakers have switched committees.

Myers served previously on the ways and means committee and said he was "very pleased" to return. He also is interested in serving on the committee's subcommittee that discusses election law.

Shank said he did not request the switch from judiciary to ways and means, and said the announcement came as a surprise. He said Busch compared Shank - in his role as the House Minority Whip - to a "utility player."

"My responsibilities in the House of Delegates are not limited to one committee and need to be focused on statewide issues," Shank said. " ... I didn't request this. This was not my choice, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to a new opportunity."

Shank said he will continue to draft bills he was planning before the move.

No changes were made to standing committees in Maryland's Senate.

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