Wednesday, January 23, 2019

#TXLEGE: Bonnen's committee assignments are tangible progress

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

House committee assignments are out:

  • It's been widely noted that Bonnen got these out quickly.  Obviously, that means he's not playing the same games with the clock.  But that would have been true even if Bonnen had gotten committees out next week.

    By getting them out this quickly, Bonnen also indicates a level diligence in the speaker's office that the previous occupant.

    An intellectually serious speaker's office is a very welcome development.
  • (At least) Two previous committee chairmen who were widely rumored to have engaged in sexual funny business are no longer committee chairmen.
  • Clear demotions for Drew Darby, Todd Hunter, and Sarah Davis.
  • Zerwas keeping Appropriations is unfortunate...but by adding Matt Schaefer, Cole Hefner, and Steve Toth, Zerwas has a significantly more conservative committee to manage.
  • Business and Industry has been a committee where they've stuck Democrats for several sessions.  Don't read too much into Ferdinand Frank Trey Martinez Fischer as chair.  That being said, LOL on "vice-chair Drew Darby."
    • Note: Giving TMF this committee was actually a savvy move on Bonnen's part.  It could, potentially, cut down on the degree to which he's difficult down the line.  Worst case scenario, this is a neutral trade.
  • Four Price at Calendars isn't necessarily great.  But Calendars has nowhere to go but up.  Price is a likely upgrade on personal conduct alone.
    • Note: If there has to be a Travis County Democrat on the Calendars committee, we'd much rather have it be Eddie Rodriguez than Donna Howard.
  • Dan Flynn is harmless at Defense and Veterans Affairs.
  • Elections is a GIGANTIC all-around upgrade.  Stephanie Klick is exactly the type of member you want chairing a committee like this.  Adding Briscoe Cain and Valoree Swanson means this committee has a strong majority to pass strong bills.
  • Putting Chris Paddie, Darby, Ernest Bailes, and Charlie Geren on Energy Resources is another savvy move.  Energy development is an issue where big business types and conservatives agree.  This allows those members to do productive work while keeping them out of conservatives' hair.
  • Chris Turner at Higher Ed. is not good.  That being said, by adding Matt Schaefer and Terry Wilson, the committee membership is significantly more conservative.  Hard to know where things will land.

    Ending tuition increases is an issue for which there OUGHT to be overwhelming bipartisan support.

    You will know everything you need to know about the degree to which Chris Turner is a serious chairman by how he handles the tuition issue.
  • Poncho Nevarez at public safety is an obvious message the more overzealous Second Amendment types.
  • Charlie Geren at House admin means there will be plenty of booze in the members' lounge.
  • Jeff Leach at Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence is a great opportunity to head off potential damage from the Democrat judges elected last fall.
  • That Tom Craddick is only now getting a chairmanship tells you everything you need to know about the pettiness of the previous speaker.
  • Licensing and Administrative procedures looks pretty awful.
  • Local and Consent has a Republican chair!!!
  • Public Ed. looks like an educrat's wet dream.  This committee will have to be watched very closely.  We encourage the Governor to start warming up his veto pen.
  • Senfronia Thompson at Public health is strange.  She's never shown interest in the subject.  Precludes major reforms, but how it impacts smaller ball issues is less clear.
  • State Affairs is a LIGHT YEARS improvement.
  • Urban Affairs looks AMAZING and that's all we're going to say about publicly.
    • Note: Take THAT City of Austin.
  • See our previous comment about State Affairs and likewise apply it to Ways and Means.
Bottom Line: It's a solid list on most issues.  There's lots to like.  That being said, they are going to have to be watched like a hawk on education.

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