News Article | January 26, 2023
Week in Review: A Digest of What Happened This Week at the Capitol
Patrick Sets Senate Committee Rosters
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick set the stage for formal consideration of the thousands of bills already filed by the 88th Legislature with his appointment of Senate committee chairs and members. The roster of committees is largely the same as last session's, with just a few changes of note regarding structure, composition or membership.
Much of the legislation of interest to counties is sent to the Local Government Committee, which will again be chaired by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), joined by new committee member and Vice Chair Drew Springer (R-Muenster). Sens. Royce West (D-Dallas) and Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) replace Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio).
Two other committees with subject matter pertinent to county interests also saw their chairs return. Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) will lead a Finance Committee whose membership swells from 15 to 17. With just over half of the full Senate present, discussions in their hearings will be telling as to the chamber's priorities. Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) was again tapped to lead the Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee, albeit with a significantly altered composition – four of the panel's nine senators are new to the committee.
Full membership of the Senate's 15 standing committees, one special committee and one subcommittee is compiled in Patrick's press release announcing the appointments or is available individually on the Senate's website.
House Awaits Committee Assignments
One representative will serve on no committees. With that distinction comes another: exclusive authority to appoint the other 149 representatives to their committees. Those 149 now await word from the man they elected to lead them, the representative from House District 21, Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). With their submitted committee preferences in hand, he will soon organize the House for business by filling the ranks of the 34 House standing committees called for by the House rules.
Some idea of the work those committees will engage in can be found in the 87th Legislature's interim reports. For counties, the report from County Affairs is an obvious starting point, while reports from Criminal Justice Reform, Youth Health & Safety and others may also be of interest.
For more information about this article, please contact Pete Winckler.