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Northern Panhandle Delegates named to key committees

By JANET METZNER

The Weirton Daily Times

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — When it comes to the powerful House of Delegates Judiciary Committee the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia is well-represented by three delegates led by Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio as minority vice chairman.

Joining Fluharty on the committee are Delegates Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock, and Joe Canestraro, D-Marshall.

Opening day for the state Legislature is Feb. 8, with Gov.-elect Jim Justice’s inauguration is set for 1 p.m. today at the state Capitol in Charleston.

The judiciary committee “sees the vast majority of bills” that make their way through the legislative session, Fluharty said.

That means its members have a say in bills that address a wide variety of issues, from the budget to energy and more.

Being named vice chair means Fluharty, in his second term as delegate, is the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.

He was a member of the committee during his first term.

“I’m very happy to be serving in this leadership position,” he said.

Among Northern Panhandle delegates, Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, has earned the most leadership posts as chair of two committees: interstate commerce and political subdivisions.

Storch is also a member of the finance, prevention and treatment of substance abuse, energy and small business and economic development committees.

The veterans affairs and homeland security, senior citizens’ issues and industry and labor committees also have strong Northern Panhandle representation, with three local delegates each.

Following are the committee assignments and leadership posts for local delegates, including Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Tyler and Wetzel counties:

Banking and Insurance:  Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock

Energy: Minority Chair David Pethtel, D-Wetzel, and Storch

Finance:  Storch and Pethtel

Government Organization:  Minority Chairman Michael Ferro, D-Marshall; Phil Diserio, minority vice chairman; and McGeehan

Health and Human Resources: Fluharty

Industry and Labor: Diserio, Ferro and Fluharty

Interstate Cooperation: Storch and Ferro

Judiciary: Fluharty, Zatezalo and Canestraro

Political Subdivisions:  Storch and Canestraro

Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse: Storch

Roads and Transportation: Canestraro and Diserio

Rules: Ferro and Pethtel

Senior Citizens’ Issues: Zatezalo, Ferro and Pethtel

Small Business & Economic Development: Storch and Zatezalo

Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security: McGeehan, Canestraro and Ferro

See more from The Weirton Daily Times

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