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Democrats to chair 3 Mo. House committees


By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Three Democratic members of the Missouri House will chair committees next year, despite the increase in power by the Republican Party in that chamber.

Incoming House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) told reporters at a press conference today that he picked the best qualified lawmakers to head the committees, regardless of party.

Democrat Chris Kelly of Columbia will chair the budget panel for corrections and public safety.

"The Speaker and all of my colleagues and I take the same oath...it says 'Missouri,' it doesn't say 'Democrat' or 'Republican," Kelly said. "I feel an obligation to return the Speaker's confidence with a continuing show of bipartisanship."

The other two Democrats who'll chair House committees are Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis and Linda Black (formerly Linda Fischer) of Bonne Terre. They'll chair committees on urban affairs and corrections, respectively.