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Leadership posts for dissident House Democrats include Judiciary Committee

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:09 p.m. HST, Jan 21, 2011

Hawaii House Democrats who resisted the chamber's leadership are taking control of the powerful Judiciary Committee and six other committees as a result of a compromise.

The Judiciary Committee will be led by Maui Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, a key position when legislation creating civil unions for same-sex couples comes up.

Only three representatives on the 16-member committee opposed civil unions when it came to a floor vote last year, indicating a civil unions bill would likely have enough votes to pass the committee again.

In all, the 17 Democrats who initially opposed Speaker of the House Calvin Say of Oahu won three more committee chairmanships and one additional leadership position.

Maui Rep. Mele Carroll joined Say's leadership team as a majority whip.

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