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The Senate Rules Committee approved some committee membership shuffling yesterday, including some changes made at the request of the new Senate GOP leader Bob Huff.

One of the biggest changes was to the Senate Health Committee, where Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, replaces Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, as vice-chair.

Strickland and Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, also swapped their respective posts on the Senate Governmental Organization and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committees.

Several GOP members picked up new committee assignments to fill seats vacated by Huff, whose spokesman said he needed to free up time to focus on his responsibilities as leader.

While committee changes under the dome are often sparked by political considerations, a Huff spokesman said these shifts were made to move the leader off the committees and honor some requests made by members.

"There was no king-making here," spokesman Bill Bird said. "Requests were made to Bob for committee assignments and Bob took those requests to Senate (President) Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and those requests were made."

All the committee changes are detailed in the Rules Committee agenda, which is posted here.


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