Solomons Files House Rules

House Resolution 2 proposes major changes to number, roles, make-up of House committees

The calm before the flood of paperwork
The calm before the flood of paperwork (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

The opening weeks of the House of Representatives are usually pretty slow affairs, taken up with the normal slate of tip-of-the-hat resolutions. But there's some big business, like House Resolution 2, better known as the House Rules, filed this morning by Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrolton.

As widely rumored, the House of Straus will cut down on the number of committees, but increase the membership of the remaining bodies to balance the appointments. The headline statistic is that, out of last session's 40 committees, five get merged with another, one goes completely, and there's one new body. The big changes are:
– Government Reform merges into State Affairs
– Local Government Ways and Means merges into Ways and Means
– Judiciary merges into Civil Jurisprudence
– Law Enforcement merges with Criminal Jurisprudence, becomes Criminal Jurisprudence and Law Enforcement
– Pensions and Investments merges into Financial Services and Pensions.

The proposals break down what have often been seen as false divisions in justice and governance, created solely to create more chairmanships. But the biggest news may be at the bottom of the list: If the rules are adopted, Regulated Industries will be completely disbanded and its responsibilities scattered to the four winds (well, five committees.) Why's that so big? Because Chair Phil King, R-Weatherford, has long been seen as a roadblock to environmental regulation.

Meanwhile, one new committee is proposed, called Technology and Workforce Training. Anyone want to bet that'll be nicknamed the Green Collar Committee?

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81st Legislature, Joe Straus, Texas House of Representatives, Environment, Justice, Courts, Phil King, Burt Solomons

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