AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (Beaumont) today announced House committee assignments for the 87th Legislature.
“The State of Texas has arrived at a pivotal moment in its history – one that requires us as lawmakers to work with one another, build consensus, and leverage the diverse strengths and backgrounds of those within our chamber to confront the unique challenges ahead,” said Speaker Phelan. “I have dedicated my speakership to creating a member-driven process that affords each of my colleagues a seat at the decision-making table, and have made these committee assignments to reflect their preferences, talents, and where I believe they will have the greatest impact on the issues to come before this body.”
Speaker Phelan’s committee assignments were made with a number of considerations in mind, namely, the interests, skillsets, and express committee preferences of each member, the needs and priorities of the state’s rural and urban areas, and the diverse demographics of the House’s membership. In the weeks leading up to today’s announcement, Speaker Phelan has held individual meetings with lawmakers to discuss their committee preferences as well as their priorities for the legislative session.
Highlighting the need to invest in the future of House leadership, Speaker Phelan added, “The nature of this session will be anything but status quo, and the House stands to benefit from members assuming new roles and responsibilities and the fresh perspectives these appointments provide. I have utmost confidence that each of these appointees will excel in the positions they’ve been selected for, and I thank them in advance for the work they will do.”
Twelve members have been selected to chair committees for the first time. Consistent with House practice in preceding sessions, members are considered eligible to serve as a chair or vice chair in their third and second terms respectively, making 104 members eligible for a chair and 130 members eligible for a vice chair this session. Over 40% of the house’s membership has served less than three terms.
Analysis of Committee Assignments:
• The current makeup of the Texas House is 82 Republicans and 67 Democrats (with 1 vacant seat).
• Including the Speaker Pro Tempore, a leadership position equivalent to a chair, 21 chairs are Republicans and 14 are Democrats;
• Consistent with House Rules, which were adopted by members during the first week of the legislative session, there are 34 standing committees to which members have been appointed.
Of those committees:
• 5 chairs and 14 vice chairs are women;
• 14 chairs and 21 vice chairs are Black, Hispanic, or Asian-American;
• 11 chairs and 7 vice chairs represent rural areas of the state; and
• 24 chairs and 27 vice chairs represent urban areas of the state.
• Speaker Phelan elected not to form Select Committees, thereby giving deference to the committee structure approved by members in the House Rules.
• In the interest of a fair and objective process, Speaker Phelan has chosen not to appoint chairs of other committees to simultaneously serve on House Calendars.
The full lists of House committee assignments organized by member and committee are attached here.