State Representative Ben Toma (R-Peoria), elected to serve as the next Speaker of the House, has unveiled his list of committees and chair appointments.
“House Speaker-elect Ben Toma today announced committees and chair appointments for the upcoming 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which opens on January 9, 2023,” according to a press release from the Arizona House Republicans.
Arizona House Speaker-elect @RepBenToma today announced committees and chair appointments for the upcoming 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which opens on January 9, 2023.
— Arizona House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) December 1, 2022
The Arizona Sun Times reached out to the House Republicans for additional comments but did not hear back.
Typically, committees are tasked with refining bills that fall under their subject matter. Once a legislator introduces a bill, they will often refer it to the appropriate committee to fine-tune its details and allow for public input. All committees are led by a chair and vice chair, all appointed by Toma.
The first and largest committee staffed by Toma is the Appropriations Committee, which focuses on funds. State Representative David Livingston (R-Peoria) will lead the committee, with State Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) as his vice chair. The Appropriations Committee uniquely has two subcommittees focusing on Education and Health & Welfare, with Legislative District (LD) 4 State Representative-elect Matt Gress (R) chairing education and LD 1-elect Selina Bliss (R-Yavapai) overseeing the latter.
The State House will have 15 committees, plus two subcommittees, in the upcoming legislative session. Notable committees include Education, chaired by State Representative Beverly Pingerelli (R-Peoria) and LD 7-elect David Marshall (R-Snowflake); Municipal Oversight & Elections, led by State Representative Jaqueline Parker (R-Maricopa) and LD 3-elect Alexandra Kolodin (R-Phoenix); and the Natural Resources, Energy, & Water Committee, with State Representatives Gail Griffin (R-Hereford) and LD 29-elect Austin Smith (R-Maricopa) to serve as chairs. The House Republicans stated that more information on committees and member appointments would be coming soon. The complete list of committees and chairs is available here.
After being named vice chair for natural resources, Smith said he was honored and looking forward to taking the position.
“Humbled and honored to be chosen Vice Chair of Natural Resources, Energy & Water – these are issues of a generation critically important for LD29 and the entire state of Arizona. Looking forward to working with the legend Gail Griffin,” Smith tweeted.
Kolodin also expressed his gratitude to Toma for the opportunity to serve on the municipal and elections committee, “Let the games begin,” he said.
— Alexander Kolodin (@alex4arizona) December 1, 2022
Even above the state level, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar congratulated Toma on making these decisions and wished him luck in the upcoming session.
As reported by The Sun Times, the State Senate has already revealed its list of committees and members as decided by Senate President-elect Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert). Both the House and Senate will fall back into a Republican majority in the coming session. This comes with the caveat that Republicans will potentially lead the legislature under a Democratic administration run by Governor-elect Katie Hobbs. A spokesperson for the State Senate Republicans told The Sun Times that the Republicans plan to do their best to work under Hobbs and get common-sense policies through that will better the state of Arizona.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ben Toma” by Ben Toma. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Pima County Public Library.