OLYMPIA — Nineteenth District legislators have received their committee assignments for the 2017 legislative session, which begins on Jan. 9.

Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, will continue to serve as a ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, as well as the Government Operations and Security and Transportation committees. Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, will continue to serve as chair of the House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Business and Financial Services and Commerce and Gaming committees.

Newly elected Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, received committee assignments, but they did not include the place on the House Education Committee that he had hoped to win. Instead, Walsh will serve on the House Local Government, Capital Budget, and Business and Financial Services committees, according to a Dec. 21 press release from the Washington State House Republicans.

According to the press release, the Local Government Committee considers issues related to the operations and financing of counties, cities, and some special districts, as well as some land use issues.

The Capital Budget Committee approves money for construction and repair of public buildings and for other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. It also considers state money that is either given or loaned to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing, and cultural and heritage facilities, and considers bills relating to public works contracting, state buildings and land, and the authorization of state debt.

The Business and Financial Services Committee considers the licensing and regulation of businesses and professions. It also considers issues relating to insurance. Financial services issues include the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, regulation of consumer credit and lending, and regulation of securities and investments. The committee also considers consumer protection issues relating to motor vehicles, financial services and insurance.

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