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New Kan. House speaker reverses merger of 2 panels

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Incoming Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick has reversed a decision to merge the chamber's Elections and Local Government committees.

The Stilwell Republican announced earlier this month that the two committees would be combined, with Olathe Republican Scott Schwab as chairman.

Merrick says he now believes there will be enough work for both panels in the 2013 session, which begins Jan. 14.

Schwab retains his chairmanship of the Elections Committee. Republican Steve Huebert, of Valley Center, will continue to chair the Local Government Committee.