ST. PAUL - Rep.-elect Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar, has been appointed to serve on the Education Policy, State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs and the Transportation Policy committees when the 2013 legislative session convenes Jan. 8.

House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen announced the committee assignments for the 2013-2014 biennium on Monday.

“I’m honored to serve on these important committees,” said Sawatzky, who has been a special ed-ucation te-acher for the Willmar Pu-blic School District for 27 years be-fore defeating Republican incumbent Bruce Vogel in the election this fall.

“I look forward to working together with my colleagues to improve our schools and ensure that every Minnesota child has an opportunity to succeed.”

Given the state’s budget deficit, Sawatzky said, it is “essential that we find ways to collaborate, find efficiencies and save taxpayer dollars, while doing everything we can to help our Minnesota veterans.”

She said the state also needs a comprehensive, long-term plan to addresses the state’s “crumbling” transportation system and establish policies that are good for the entire state and not just one region.

“We have a lot of work to do, but I’m confident that if we listen to Minnesotans and work together, we can get it done and make our state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” she said.

 Other area House members also received key appointments.

Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock was named as vice chairman of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee and was also placed on the Energy Policy Committee, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee and Government Operations Committee.

Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, was named as the GOP lead on the Legacy Committee and was also appointed to the Education Committee, Elections Committee and Capital Investment Committee.

Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, was named as lead GOP member to the Housing Finance and Policy Committee and will also serve on the Agriculture Policy Committee and the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee.