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Kansas House will retain key committee leaders

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The new speaker of the Kansas House is retaining the chairmen of the chamber's powerful Appropriations, Taxation and Judiciary committees.

Incoming House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, announced committee leadership appointments late Tuesday. Members of the chamber's GOP majority chose Merrick as speaker last week.

Merrick kept Lance Kinzer, of Olathe, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Kinzer had run against Merrick for speaker.

Marc Rhoades of Newton is remaining as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Richard Carlson of St. Marys will continue to head the Taxation Committee.

All House committee chairmen and chairwomen are Republicans, in line with the GOP's 92-33 majority. They'll take over when lawmakers convene their 2013 session in mid-January.