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Area lawmakers assigned to state legislative panels

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government River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Members of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly took their oaths of office last week and have new committee assignments for the 2013-14 session.

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The two-year state budget and a mining bill are expected to be highlights of this session. Gov. Scott Walker was set to deliver his State of the State message Tuesday evening, and floor periods are scheduled Jan. 13-14, resuming again Jan. 29.

The two state senators representing districts in the Pierce and St. Croix county area -- Sheila Harsdorf and Kathleen Vinehout -- will both serve on influential joint-house committees.

In the Assembly, Dean Knudson (District 30) will serve on the powerful Joint Committee on Finance while Assemblymen John Murtha (District 29), Erik Severson (District 28) and Warren Petryk (District 93) will each chair one committee while serving on others.

Sen. Harsdorf, R-River Falls -- who is starting her fourth four-year term representing District 10 -- will again serve on the Joint Committee on Finance. She was also appointed to the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology and the Senate committees on agriculture, small business and tourism; energy, consumer protection and government reform; and universities and technical colleges.

Sen. Vinehout, D-Alma -- continuing in her second term representing District 31 -- will serve on the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. She was also appointed to the Senate committees on agriculture, small business and tourism; and education.

Dean Knudson, R-Hudson -- who is starting his second two-year term in the Assembly -- will serve on the Joint Finance Committee and the committee on colleges and universities.

John Murtha, R-Baldwin, starting his fourth term in the Assembly, will chair the Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate. He will also be a member of the committees on agriculture, rural economic development and rural affairs, public safety and homeland security and international trade and commerce.

Murtha has also been elected to a second term as vice chairman of the Assembly Republican Caucus, which requires him to serve as a member of the Assembly Rules Committee.

Warren Petryk, R-Eleva, starting his second term in the Assembly, will be chairman of the Assembly Committee on Veterans and vice chairman of the Assembly Workforce Development Committee. He was also appointed to the committees on aging and long term care; jobs, economy and mining; natural resources and sporting heritage; and information policy and technology.

Erik Severson, R-Star Prairie, is starting his second term in Assembly. He will chair the Assembly Committee on Health and will serve on the committees on criminal justice, education, energy and utilities, workforce development and retirement systems.

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