Leaders of the Montana Legislature on Tuesday announced their appointments for committee chairmen for the 2011 session.

In the Senate, the Committee on Committees, the six-member panel elected by the Republican majority, picked the appointments.  Its chairman, Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, announced the appointments of these chairmen/chairwomen, by committee:

Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation: Sen. Don Steinbeisser, R-Sidney.

Business and Labor: Sen. Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman.

Education and Cultural Resources: Sen. Rick Ripley, R-Wolf Creek.

Energy: Sen. Alan Olson, R-Roundup.

Ethics: Not yet named.

Finance and Claims: Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Helena.

Fish and Game: John Brenden, R-Scobey. 

Highways and Transportation: Sen. Llew Jones, R-Conrad.

Judiciary: Sen. Jim Shockley, R-Victor.

Legislative Administration: Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley.

Local Government: Sen. Jon Sonju, R-Kalispell.

Natural Resources: Sen. Debby Barrett, R-Dillon.

Public Health: Sen. Terry Murphy, R-Cardwell.

Rules: Sen. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings.

State Administration: Shockley.

Taxation: Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell.

In the House, the incoming speaker has the power to make the appointments. Incoming Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, along with incoming Majority Leader Tom McGillvray, R-Billings, announced the appointment of these chairmen/chairwomen, by committee:

Agriculture: Rep. Krayton Kerns, R-Laurel.

Appropriations: Rep. Walter McNutt, R-Sidney.

Business and Labor: Rep. Elsie Arntzen, R-Billings.

Education: Rep. Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork.

Ethics: Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell.

Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications: Rep. Harry Klock, R-Harlowton.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks: Rep. Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman.

Human Services: Rep. David Howard, R-Park City.

Judiciary: Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings.

Local Government: Rep. Gary MacLaren, R-Victor.

Natural Resources: Rep. Gordon Hendrick, R-Superior.

Rules: Rep. Michael More, R-Gallatin Gateway.

State Administration: Rep. Pat Ingraham, R-Thompson Falls.

Taxation:  Rep. Mark Blasdel, R-Somers.

Transportation: Rep. Gordon Vance, R-Bozeman.

The Senate and House leaders expect to release the members of each committee next week.

The committee memberships usually are split by political party by close to the same ratio as the party membership in each chamber.

In 2011, Republicans will have a 28-22 majority over Democrats in the Senate and a 68-32 lead over Democrats in the House.

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