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State Rep. Dan Rayfield of Corvallis has a new committee assignment.

Rayfield, a Democrat who just finished his first term representing District 16, has been appointed to serve as co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety for the 2015-16 interim session.

In the 2015 regular session Rayfield served on the Subcommittee on Natural Resources, where he played a central role in addressing a $30 million budget shortfall for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In his new role on the public safety panel, Rayfield will help to oversee more than $3 billion in general fund money.

“I had the opportunity to address some big challenges in the natural resources budget area this past session and will miss working on these issues,” Rayfield said of the committee switch. “However, I look forward to contributing to another critical area of our state budget — public safety.”

The public safety group reviews and develops budgets for state agencies such as the Department of Corrections, Department of Justice, Oregon Military Department, the Oregon State Police and the Oregon Youth Authority.

Rayfield also was named House majority whip, a key position on the Democratic leadership team, in July.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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