With House leadership change, committee chairmanships could be reassigned

House leadership elections Tuesday that saw the selection of Rep. Greg Stumbo as the chamber’s new speaker likely mean changes in chairmanships of House committees, lawmakers said Wednesday. 

Stumbo has said he will be considering a change to one of the chamber’s most powerful committees – Appropriations and Revenue – currently headed by Rep. Harry Moberly, a Richmond Democrat. 

Stumbo said Tuesday night that he would be looking to change the way that committee operates, and whether Moberly remains at its head depends upon whether he’s willing to accept those changes. 

Stumbo has said he wants to get more lawmakers involved in the budget process and make sure lawmakers have more information about the budget as it’s being developed.

“Harry’s talented, he’s got a lot of institutional knowledge, but we are going to change the way that we handle the budget situation,” Stumbo said. 

Moberly disputed Stumbo’s claims that the budget process hasn’t been open, and said he has worked to make the process more open and broader. 

When asked if he expected to be reappointed as chairman of the committee, Moberly said he didn’t. 

Other chairmanships could be more secure as the House leadership team works today and tomorrow to determine those positions and assignments for all lawmakers. 

Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Democrat, said this afternoon that he feels confident he will remain chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee. 

“I won’t have any problem there,” Gooch said. 

Rep. Tommy Thompson, a Philpot Democrat who ran unsuccessfully as majority whip Tuesday, said he “probably” will stay as chairman of the House Banking and Insurance Committee. 

At least one lawmaker – Rep. Jeff Greer of Brandenburg and strong Stumbo supporter – has expressed interest in chairing that committee.

“I’ve really enjoyed that committee and it’s a subject I like,” Thompson said. “There is some discussion about maybe a couple of other options, so something else may develop, but at the moment I’m certainly looking at the probability of staying at the Banking and Insurance Committee.”

Thompson said he has told members of leadership that he’d still be interested in remaining chairman of that committee, but would also be interested in other options they were considering. Thompson declined to say what those options were.

When asked Wednesday morning if he was considering Thompson to head the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, Stumbo declined to comment, saying “we really haven’t talked about that yet.”


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