- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - While Republicans hold a majority in the Arkansas House, the chamber’s new speaker appointed three Democrats as chairmen of three standing committees.

Republican House Speaker Jeremy Gillam of Judsonia says he went with Democrats in some of the top spots because they had experience and the right “skill set.” He said he chose those over party affiliation.

Reps. Joe Jett of Success will head the Revenue and Taxation Committee, Betty Overbey of Lamar will head the City, County and Local Affairs Committee and George McGill of Fort Smith will lead Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs.

With questions still remaining on where Arkansas goes with its Medicaid expansion, Gillam went with a “private option” supporter, Republican Kelley Linck of Flippin, for the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.

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