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There's been some re-organizing of Missouri Senate committees, but some features will stay the same.

The Senate on Wednesday released its committee assignments for the current legislative session.

Among the changes are new committees: Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight, which had previously been separate committees on Government Reform and Fiscal Oversight; and Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs, which had previously been separate committees on Seniors, Families and Children, and Veterans and Military Affairs.

Some committees also have one or two more or fewer members than before.

President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, told Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, last week he had made a "concerted effort" to make sure the ratios of Republican and Democratic members were maintained amid the committee changes.

The committee assignments for the current session will be printed in the Senate journal, available at senate.mo.gov/21info/jrnlist/default.aspx.

Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, will once again be chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources.

Bernskoetter will also serve on the Economic Development; Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight; Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics; and Small Business and Industry committees.

Bernskoetter said he requested to be on the new Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight committee: "Obviously, it's important that if we're passing legislation that it doesn't impact the budget — that's what the fiscal part is about, making sure that we don't pass legislation that's going to blow a hole in our budget."

Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, who is the Majority Caucus secretary, will be vice chairwoman of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment, and will serve on the Administration; Appropriations; and Gubernatorial Appointments committees.

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