House Speaker Dennis Bonnen today issued guidelines for conducting the business of House committees during the current crisis. Interim committee meetings ceased in early March when the Governor declared a pandemic emergency. Unlike the courts or state agencies, however, the House under its own rules cannot conduct virtual committee hearings. Speaker Bonnen gave House members three options: posting information pertinent to a committee’s oversight jurisdiction on a House committee’s website; formally soliciting agency, stakeholder, and public comment on an interim charge or other matter through notice posted on the Texas Legislature Online/Texas Legislative Information System and House websites; and public forums hosted by committee chairs. With respect to the public forum option, a committee chair is not required to invite House members to attend, but if the chair does do so, he must invite all members of the House, not just committee members. The Speaker’s guidance can be found here.

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