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House Committee Details and Facts

On Thursday, House Speaker Joe Straus announced House committee assignments. The speaker said, “We want to utilize House members’ strengths and allow them to work on issues that matter to their districts. Some very good members are taking on new challenges. I’m looking forward to their leadership. There is always a balance to strike between continuity and fresh thinking, and I think we have the right mix.” Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) was re-appointed Speaker Pro Tempore. Representative Tom Craddick (R-Midland) is still the Dean of the House. He has served in the Texas House since 1969, or in more than over a quarter of the meetings of the Texas House of Representative since statehood in 1845. Craddick was Speaker of the House 2003-2008.

House Committees and Chairs:

  • Agriculture and Livestock – Tracy King (D-Batesville)
  • Appropriations – John Zerwas* (R-Richmond)
  • Business and Industry – Rene Oliviera (D-Brownsville)
  • Calendars – Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi)
  • Corrections – James White* (R-Hillister)
  • County Affairs – Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)
  • Criminal Jurisprudence – Joe Moody* (D-El Paso)
  • Culture, Recreation and Tourism – John Frullo* (R-Lubbock)
  • Defense and Veterans’ Affairs – Roberto Gutierrez* (D-San Antonio)
  • Economic and Small Business Development – Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson)
  • Elections – Jodie Laubenburg (R-Wylie)
  • Energy Resources – Drew Darby (R-San Angelo)
  • Environmental Regulation – Joe Pickett* (D-El Paso)
  • General Investigating and Ethics – Sarah Davis* (R-Houston)
  • Government Transparency and Operation – Gary Elkins (R-Houston)
  • Higher Education – J.M. Lozano* (R-Kingsville)
  • Homeland Security and Public Safety – Phil King* (R-Weatherford)
  • House Administration – Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)
  • Human Services – Richard Pena Raymond (D-Laredo)
  • Insurance – Larry Phillips* (R-Sherman)
  • International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs – Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas)
  • Investments and Financial Services – Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)
  • Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence – John Smithee (R-Amarillo)
  • Juvenile Justice and Family Issues – Harold Dutton, Jr. (D-Houston)
  • Land and Resource Management – Abel Herrero* (D-Robstown)
  • Licensing and Administrative Procedures – John Kuempel* (R-Seguin)
  • Local and Consent Calendars – Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston)
  • Natural Resources – Lyle Larson* (R-San Antonio)
  • Pensions – Dan Flynn (R-Van)
  • Public Education –Dan Huberty* (R-Humble)
  • Public Health – Four Price* (R-Amarillo)
  • Redistricting – Cindy Burkett* (R-Sunnyvale)
  • Rules and Resolutions – Eddie Lucio, III* (D-Brownsville)
  • Special Purpose Districts – Jim Murphy* (R-Houston)
  • State Affairs – Byron Cook (R-Corsicana)
  • Transportation – Geanie Morrison* (R-Victoria)
  • Urban Affairs – Carol Alvarado (D-Houston)
  • Ways and Means – Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)
  • Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement – Drew Darby* (R-San Angelo)
  • Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility – Joe Deshotel* (D-Beaumont)

Note: An * means the committee’s chairman is new.

The House has 38 standing and procedural committees, the same number as in 2015 and 2013. The speaker also appointed two Select Committees. The Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility, which was created in 2015, was continued. And, a new Select Committee on Texas Ports Innovation and Infrastructure was established.

Republicans are chairing 25 of the House’s standing and procedural committees, the same number as in 2015. In 2013, Republicans chaired 24 of the House’s 38 standing and procedural committees. Democrats are chairing 13 of the House’s standing and procedural committees, the same number as in 2015. However, Democrat Joe Deshotel was named chair of the new Select Committee on Texas Ports, Innovation & Infrastructure, and that brings the Democratic chair count to 14. In 2013, Democrats chaired 14 of the House’s standing and procedural committees. 19 House Committee Chairs are presiding over the same committee they chaired in 2015. Eight House members will chair committees for the first time. 11 returning chairs will be leading new committees.