- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican-controlled Iowa Senate has eliminated a committee that focused on economic growth, and the decision has sparked criticism from the new minority party.

Caleb Hunter, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, released an email Monday that says the Senate Economic Growth Committee will no longer exist when the Iowa Legislature returns in January. Hunter says such a committee is redundant and unnecessary.

Committees in both chambers decide whether proposed bills can advance into possible laws. The Republican-majority House plans to continue with its separate economic growth committee.

Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, the Senate Democratic minority leader, says the committee monitored the economic development efforts of state agencies. He asked Republicans to reconsider their decision.

Hunter says Senate Republicans are following through on reducing the size of state government.

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