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Senate Democrats divvying up control of legislative panels

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Democrats in the Connecticut Senate are divvying up control of the General Assembly's committees after two years of sharing power with Republicans.

Democrats and Republicans have held an equal number of seats, 18 apiece. That's meant two Senate chairs - a Democrat and Republican - for every legislative committee. But when the new legislative session begins on Jan. 9, Democrats will hold 23 of the chamber's 36 seats. Republicans will control 13.

One of the new Democratic senators, former United Auto Workers Union leader and organizer, Julie Kushner of Danbury, will be the Senate chairwoman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Fellow freshman Christine Cohen, a Guilford business owner will chair the Environment Committee.

Returning Sen. Gary Winfield of New Haven will chair the Judiciary Committee for the first time.

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