Speaker Pro Tem of the House Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, announced his staff for the upcoming legislative session.

They include a newcomer to the statehouse and a veteran of several sessions. Emily Graves, former Ottawa city commissioner, will serve as chief of staff to the Speaker Pro Tem. She has worked professionally in health care and most recently at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Graves is a graduate of Emporia State University and holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Baker University.

“Emily is going to be an outstanding addition to the leadership team,” Finch said, “As a former elected official she understands the demands placed on our caucus to have access to good information, to communicate clearly back home, and deliver outstanding service to the people of Kansas. Her skill set and work ethic will make her an invaluable resource to help our members meet those demands.”

Graves resigned from the city commission this past July as she moved out of the city limits. Graves served on the commission for three years, first being appointed after the resignation of Sharon Giess. Graves was then re-elected in 2017.

Finch tapped his veteran office assistant, Jane Clouse, to serve as the Office Manger for the Pro Tem’s Office. Clouse is a former Federal Department of Transportation employee who has worked with Finch for the past three years.

“Jane keeps all the trains running on time and does it with a friendly smile that welcomes people to our office and makes them feel comfortable being a part of the process here in the statehouse,” Finch said.

Speaker Pro Tem Finch’s office will be located at 381-W in the State Capitol and the 2019 Legislative Session will begin Jan. 14.