Learn Your House Rules Today

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UPDATE: follow @ChailleMcCann on Twitter for live updates of the rules debate in the House.

The House and Senate reconvene tomorrow at 10am and the House will take up HR 4 , the House Rules for the 83rd Legislative Session.  

There are very little preliminary changes looking at the filed version online, except within the committees.

HR 4 as currently filed proposes to change the structure of House Committees in (more or less) three different ways:

  • Less Members on Committees:  One noted change is that at least 10 committees reduced their membership by at least a couple of members, the most dramatic committee member reduction was Redistricting; it went from 17 members to only 9 members this session.

  • Special Purpose Districts Committee:  This is the most drastic change within the standing committees.  This is a brand new committee for local bills to go to before the Local and Consent Calendar such as utility or hospital districts, and perhaps some other local taxing issue bills.
  • Realigning Committees:  Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services split into two committees where Pensions stands alone, and Border and Intergovernmental Affairs changes into International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs, absorbing the committee charges with the additional emphasis on trade. Both of these committees former chairs are no longer serving in the House (Rep. Truitt and Gonzales).

    Look for Representative Simpson to introduce changes he initially proposed while running for Speaker, including more emphasis on seniority for committee assignments, requiring conference committees to meet in public, including when they “go outside the bounds” (ie, tack on something that wasn't in any version of the House or Senate before), and the idea that no chairman of a current committee can be a member of the Calendars Committee (traditionally the committee consists of all Chairman, bear in mind the Calendars Committee needs unanimous vote to set legislation for a final date to be heard on floor).

    These are all subject to debate, discussion, and eventual vote tomorrow on the House Floor.  See you there!  Learn Your Rules!


    About Author

    Chaille Jolink

    Chaille Jolink was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has more than a decade of experience working in Texas politics. Her interest began when she was a Senate Messenger in 2003, and she's since worked for several different legislators and candidates. She started reporting in 2007 for GalleryWatch.com, and has been a contributor to several different publications. Chaille is a graduate of the University of Texas and enjoys fashion, baseball, and playing any team sport. Chaille tweets @ChailleMcCann.

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