"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced the committee chairs Thursday. Among the new chairmen: State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, who led the House Higher Education Committee last session, will spearhead the House's budget planning as the new chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Zerwas succeeds John Otto, who retired following the 2015 session.Now who, pray tell, is John Zerwas?!?
From last session:
From two sessions ago:
HB 3791 by State Rep. John Zerwas (R – Simonton), Speaker Straus’ point-man on healthcare policy, was voted out of the full Approprations Committee 15-9 this morning, sending it on to the Calendar’s Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the house floor. (We’ll update this post with the vote breakdown when the committee minutes are posted. Early reports show San Angelo Rep. Drew Darby was a “resounding and unequivocal yes.”)Bottom Line: The silver lining is that the past two House appropriations chairs (the afore mentioned John Otto and the disgraced Jim Pitts) both retired at the end of the most recent sessions; considering the...shenanigans we've already seen on the budget this session, there's probably a good chance that piece of history will repeat itself.
HB 3791 seeks to find a “Texas Solution” to Medicaid, a sugar-coated version of the Obama Administration’s proposal to drastically expand a massive entitlement program – something that would cost the state billions of additional tax dollars in just a few short years. In other words, Zerwas’ proposal is neither a solution nor good for Texas.
Mr. Zerwas says his bill is not Medicaid expansion because it’s actually “the creation of a new program.” No seriously. We’re all supposed to feel better about growing government because he’s calling it a new program, instead of an expansion of an existing one. You couldn’t make this stuff up.