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?

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More 81st Legislature
The Senate Shuffle
The Senate Shuffle
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst makes surprise committee switches

Richard Whittaker, July 14, 2010

The Four Horsemen of the Deficit
The Four Horsemen of the Deficit
Examining the new House committees on state spending

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 13, 2010

More Joe Straus
Conservatives vs. 9/11 Responders
Conservatives vs. 9/11 Responders
Fringe right draws firefighter, cop wrath after Straus attack

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 15, 2015

No Chairs for Travis County in House Committees
No Chairs for Travis County in House Committees
Local delegation still scores six vice-chairs

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 4, 2015

More by Richard Whittaker
<i>Masters of the Universe</i> Still Has the Power
Masters of the Universe Still Has the Power
New images from the Austin-made series for Netflix

May 13, 2021

HBO Comes to ATX (Television, That Is)
HBO Comes to ATX (Television, That Is)
Festival announces partnership and programming for the streamer

May 13, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle