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House Speaker Hires Former Speaker
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After four years as Speaker, Jim Amann did not run for reelection last year, but it turns out he will still have a job at the capitol.

Speaker Chris Donovan announced he was bringing Amann on to his staff in an afternoon press release. Reached by cell phone, Donovan says Amann will lend important experience to his staff.

"Jimmy's providing a function as kind of an advisor to me. What better person to have advice for a Speaker than a former Speaker."

Amann's other job duties will include organizing outreach events and meeting with business and advocacy groups across the state.

Amann is also planning a run for governor. He has formed a candidate committee and is already raising money. Donovan says he it clear to Amann that his campaigning will have to be kept separate.

"I was very firm with Jim. We have a firm understanding and very clear that if he chooses to do something in a political sphere, it should not even interfere in concept with the work of the House caucus or my ability to conduct business."

When Amann was House Speaker, he did not employ a senior advisor. The Office of Legislative Management says this is a new title for legislative staff. The salary is in the range of a Chief of Staff position, which Donovan does not plan to fill, according to a spokesman.

The hiring comes in the same week that lawmakers passed a series of spending cuts and budget analysts warned that the deficit could swell by hundreds of millions of dollars.