To anyone outside the House Chamber in Columbia, this news is insignificant and will never make it to the MSM (main stream media). Why should it? It’s just a few folks moving around on committees. Happens every year. Doesn’t mean much; does it?

Inside the Chamber it means much more.

With every House member up for election next year and with various rumors swirling, these moves could be just the beginning for some heated, internal challenges for the coveted title of Committee Chairman and/or could help move possible legislation forward quicker or, conversely, help stall bills all together.

As you know, nothing happens without the Speaker of the House making it happen. Here’s where the carousel stopped last week:

Two members moved FROM the Education and Public Works Committee TO the Judiciary Committee: Mick Mulvaney (R – Lancaster, York) and Leon Stavrinakis (D – Charleston). One of these moves filled the vacancy created by Catherine Ceips’ special election to the Senate. The other move enabled one member to move FROM the Judiciary Committee TO the Education and Public Works Committee: Jim Stewart (R – Aiken).

Phillip Shoopman (R – Greenville) was moved FROM the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee TO the Agrictulture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Mac Toole (R – Lexington) was moved FROM the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee TO Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee (to fill the void created with Converse Chellis election to Treasurer).

Lastly, recent winners in special elections across the state are expected to be assigned as follows: Shannon Erickson (R – Beaufort) TO the Education and Public Works Committee* and Heyward Hutson (R – Dorchester, Charleston) TO the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee.

Again, moves are moves and can be interpreted in many ways. For what it’s worth, here’s my take:

* There are now three Lexington Delegation members on LCI (considered by many to be the committee “next in line” to the coveted Ways and Means Committee).

* The Democrats picked up a seat on Judiciary and there are two new faces there now.

* The Republicans picked up a seat on Education and there are now two new faces there as well*.

Feel free to read into those moves what you will. I just wanted to keep you posted on what’s going on in the State House as we get ready to begin our session in January 2008.