Friday, February 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Committees

House Agriculture & Livestock is a very important committee for rural Texas. Speakers also use it as a rural penalty box for urban members who they want to put in "time out." I first observed this in 2003 when Rep. Lon Burnam was the only member to vote against Speaker Tom Craddick, and on to Agriculture & Livestock he went. In the penalty box this year: Rep. Charlie Howard (R - Sugar Land) UPDATE: I previously listed Rep. Boris Miles in the penalty box. That was incorrect: Rep. Miles requested appointment to Agriculture & Livestock.

House Urban Affairs is an important committee for urban Texas. However, it is often referred to as the "Houston" Affairs Committee because of the many intramural City of Houston fights it is asked to referee. For a rural or suburban member, it can be tedious work -- and an urban penalty box. Only 15 of the 150 members of the Texas House (10%) voted against the election of Speaker Straus. Four of the 9 members (44%) of Urban Affairs votes against the Speaker. Into the urban penalty box: Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford); Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound); Rep. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney); and Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview).

A tale of two committees.