Anderson Republican Brian White was elected chairman of the House Ways and Means committee Tuesday, following Rep. Dan Cooper who announced he was resigning his seat last week.
White, 43, has served in the House since 2001 and has been a key ally of Cooper. the two work for the same Greenville insurance firm. White was serving as chairman of the House health care budget subcommittee.
The Ways and Means chairman is an influential position in state government, setting budget priorities in holding the purse strings of state government. The Ways and Means chairman is also one of five voting members for the State Budget and Control Board and often is allowed appointments to state boards, such as the Board of Economic Advisors. The BEA sets state revenue estimates for use by lawmakers in drafting a spending plan.
White's election officially happened Tuesday, though the horse-swapping that ensured his election took place weeks ago when Cooper first told colleagues privately he was leaving.
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Charleston Republican Rep. Chip Limehouse was elected the committee 1st vice chairman.