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Robin Vos

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced Tuesday the formation of several new legislative committees as he prepares to lead the chamber in the first era of split government since 2008.

Standing committees exist in both houses and are comprised of bipartisan panels of legislators. They consider bills within their topic area and are key to the legislative process.

Vos, R-Rochester, is adding several new committees and doing away with others to have more than four dozen committees and joint committees, which are comprised of members of both the Senate and the Assembly.

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Among others, Vos will create a new committee on the environment, and another called Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation, which will replace the Committee on Environment and Forestry from this session.

Vos is also adding a committee on criminal penalties, supplementing existing committees on Corrections and Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Other new committees cover Medicaid reform and oversight, sporting heritage, substance abuse and prevention and community development.

Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, asked to resign earlier this year by Gov. Scott Walker over reports that he made racial and sexual remarks to three female colleagues, has been appointed as a co-chair of Joint Legislative Council, which studies major issues as directed by the Legislature.

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