On Monday, Texas’ lieutenant governor announced the committee assignments for the ongoing 88th Legislative Session.
Ultimately, there was very little change from the last legislative session with regard to those appointed to be chairman of each Senate committee.
Senate Finance Committee
Of primary focus to our organization is the Senate Finance Committee, which is largely charged with the jurisdiction of state appropriations and finance. Of this committee’s 17 members (13 Republican and four Democrat state senators), only two boast career ratings of an A on our Fiscal Responsibility Index, while six of them have deplorable career ratings of an F.
The committee members are as follows (with their Fiscal Responsibility Index rating annotated):
|State Senator||Political Party||Home||2021 Index Rating||Career Rating|
|Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa||D||McAllen||28||F|
|Donna Campbell||R||New Braunfels||69||C+|
|Kelly Hancock||R||North Richland Hills||70||B|
Notably, State Sens. Bob Hall, Angela Paxton, and Judith Zaffirini did not serve on the Senate Finance Committee last legislative session.
As of this publication, the Texas House of Representatives has not been assigned committees for the 88th Legislative Session. It is largely expected those will come in short order.
Committee Assignments of Previous Taxpayer Champions
Previous Taxpayer Champions, according to our Fiscal Responsibility Index, include Republican State Sens. Bob Hall (Edgewood), Bryan Hughes (Mineola), and Mayes Middleton (Galveston).
Hall was assigned to continue serving as the Senate Administration Committee chairman as well as a member of the Senate Committees on Finance, Health & Human Services, Local Government, and Veteran Affairs.
Hughes was assigned to continue serving as the Senate State Affairs Committee chairman and was also selected to chair the Senate Jurisprudence Committee, previously chaired by Republican State Sen. Joan Huffman last session. He was also assigned to the Senate Committees on Finance, Health & Human Services, Natural Resources & Economic Development, and Nominations.
Middleton, newly elected to the Senate, having previously served as a state representative in the House of Representatives, was assigned to the Senate Committees on Administration, Business and Commerce, Education, Jurisprudence, and State Affairs.
What Is Next?
Lawmakers have the ability to file legislation until the bill filing deadline of March 10. It is unlikely any Senate committee will meet regularly—with the exception of the Finance Committee—until after that deadline, unless it is to consider emergency items as set by the governor. If committees do meet before the bill filing deadline, it is likely to be for organizational purposes only.