Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, will chair the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee when the Legislature convenes in January for the 2018 legislative session.

Van De Wege will also serve on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, which determines the budget for state expenditures, and the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee.

“These committees focus on major issues critical to all Washingtonians but particularly critical to 24th District residents,” Van De Wege said. “I look forward to solving problems confronting residents of our district as well as prioritizing legislation that will lead to stronger households and communities across our state.”

These changes stem in part from Democrats gaining a one-seat majority in the Senate after winning a special election earlier this month in the 45th Legislative District. With Democrats back in the majority, they now have the power to set the agendas of Senate committees and floor action, determining which bills will be heard and brought up for votes.

The 2018 legislative session gets underway in Olympia on Jan. 8.