Friday, January 18, 2019

#TXLEGE: Initial Thoughts on Senate Committee Assignments

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

Senate Committee assignments are out:

  • Schwertner out, Kolkhorst in, at HHS -- Given what we just said, to see Lois Kolkhorst take over for Charles Schwertner put it mildly...ironic.

    Beyond that aspect, however, this is a strange assignment.  Kolkhorst's background is in Oil and Gas, not health care.  Why her?!?  Why here?!?

    It's not like there's a shortage of Doctors in the Texas Senate.
  • That being said, good precedent on Schwertner -- We've been arguing for over a year that loss of committee chairs was the most important sanction we could impose on legislators who engage in funny business.  However bizarre that route it took to get to this place might have been, that precedent is now established.
  • Seliger to chair new Ag. committee -- Tough to know what to make of this one.  On the one hand, it's easy to view it as a demotion.  On the other hand, it's also easy to see how this is a good fit with Seliger's district.

    Only time will tell.

    If it is a demotion, however, beware the wrath of Seliger down the line.
  • Solid Conservatives on Education
  • Creighton in at Higher Ed. -- Ummmmmm?!?

    We've never known Brandon Creighton to have any particular interest in Higher ed. issues.  So this is...odd.  On the one hand, Creighton has historically tended to vote solidly.  On the other hand, he's not somebody who likes to upset the apple cart.

    Tough to know how that breaks on Higher Ed. issues.

  • Buckingham in at Nominations -- This could be interesting.

    Last session, Dawn Buckingham was the only Senator who even showed a pulse during the UT regent confirmation process.  We have no idea if they will be, but Regent confirmations should be an even bigger issue this session.  None of them are great, but Buckingham's record on this subject is less bad that most of the others.

    That being said, if Buckingham puts down her foot on regent confirmations, Watson, Seliger, and Alvarado will go BALLISTIC.  We have no idea how that plays out.  But it would be really entertaining to watch.  If nothing else, it would be a healthy debate to have in public.

    We've also signed onto the coalition letter related to the Sec'y of State confirmation.
  • Plum assignments for Flores
  • Business as usual for Borris Miles -- Obviously, he doesn't have a chairmanship to lose but Economic Development and HHS are...not bad.
Bottom Line: No obvious roadblocks on any major issues.  Couple interesting personnel moves.  We shall see.

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