Southern Ohio lawmaker tapped as House Finance chairman

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state representative from southern Ohio has been tapped to lead a powerful House committee that reviews the governor's two-year state budget proposal and other spending bills.

Republican Rep. Ryan Smith of Bidwell replaces longtime Rep. Ron Amstutz (AHM'-stuts) as chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger announced the appointment Tuesday. It comes a day after the new General Assembly convened, and Rosenberger took over as speaker. Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, now has the No. 2 ranking position of speaker pro tempore.

Smith was appointed to the House in April 2012 and is serving in his second full term. He was a member of the finance panel last session.

Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is expected to make his budget pitch in early February.