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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The General Assembly’s most powerful committee will spread that power to two chairmen, for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The House Ways and Means Committee is the starting point for the state budget and any bill that spends money. It’s not clear what limitations longtime chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) may face after a serious motorcycle crash two months ago. He was on hand for last week’s ceremonial opening session. But Fishers Republican Todd Huston has been named co-chairman to give Brown breathing space to focus on continuing his recovery

Huston says who runs a given meeting or sets agendas will be a day-to-day decision — he says the goal is to make sure Brown has any support he needs.

Huston’s worked with Brown on Ways and Means the last several years, and has authored several pieces of tax legislation, including a tax simplification bill and a revision of Indiana casino taxes. He also authored a big piece of this year’s package of job training bills.

The Senate’s top budget writer is new this year too — Bremen Republican Ryan Mishler took over the Appropriations Committee last year, but this is his first budget session.

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)