- Texas House Republican Caucus
BLOG: Breaking Down Texas House Committees
Speaker Dade Phelan announced House Committee assignments for the 88th Texas Legislative Session on Wednesday, February 8th. In the coming weeks, House Committees will start holding organizational hearings before legislation is referred after the March 10th bill filing deadline. To learn more about the committee process, check out our blog post “What is a Committee and What Does a Committee Do?”
Each committee is assigned jurisdiction over specific subjects and consider bills related to their designated policy areas. This session, there are two select committees that have been created by Speaker Phelan to address current issues that matter most to Texans in addition to the 34 standing committees.
The 36 House Committees for the 88th Session are:
AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK - This committee has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to agriculture, horticulture, farm husbandry, and the livestock industry. The Agriculture and Livestock Committee is also responsible for the development and preservation of Texas forests. Beyond agriculture and livestock, any issues particularly affecting rural areas of Texas including access to infrastructure, education, and health services are reviewed by this committee.
APPROPRIATIONS - With 27 members, the Appropriations Committee is the largest committee in the Texas House. This Committee has jurisdiction over all bills and resolutions appropriating money from the Texas Treasury. The Appropriations Committee may also review any bill or resolution containing a provision resulting in an automatic allocation of funds to ensure fiscal responsibility.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY - The Business and Industry Committee plays an important role in maintaining Texas as America’s undisputed economic leader. This committee has jurisdiction over subject matters involving industry and manufacturing, safe working conditions, hours, wages, collective bargaining, and the relationship between employers and employees. For Texans experiencing unemployment, the Business and Industry Committee is responsible for regulating unemployment eligibility, coverage, and benefits.
CALENDARS - The Calendars Committee plays a vital role in ensuring that the Texas House can efficiently work through legislation. As legislation starts to be referred out of Committees, the Calendars Committee will place bills and resolutions on the appropriate calendars. These calendars set the order that legislation will be considered and voted on by the entire House.
CORRECTIONS - This committee is responsible for reviewing legislation regarding the incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted felons. As part of the Texas House’s commitment to criminal justice reform, programs that provide alternatives to incarceration are created and maintained by this committee.
COUNTY AFFAIRS - With over 254 counties in Texas, the County Affairs Committee plays a key role to ensure the functionality of counties. This committee is responsible for the organization, creation, boundaries, and government of all Texas Counties. The Committee is also responsible for how counties are funded and compensating their officers and employees. To maintain inter-county cooperation, the County Affairs Committee establishes districts for governing bodies of counties including regional councils of governments, contracts between counties, and multi-county boards or commissions.
CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE - The Criminal Jurisprudence Committee has jurisdiction over all legislation regarding criminal law, prohibitions, standards, and penalties. This includes legislation that revises or amends sections of the Texas Penal Code. The Committee will also review proposed legislation that changes probation and parole standards in Texas. Legislation that alters criminal procedure will also be referred to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
CULTURE, RECREATION, AND TOURISM - The Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee is responsible for what Texans love most about Texas. This includes state parks, fish, and wildlife preservation, hunting and fishing, recreational activities, Texas cultural and historical resources, and the preservation of Texas monuments.
DEFENSE AND VETERANS’ AFFAIRS - This committee is vital to ensuring the security of Texas. The Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee works with the federal government on defense, emergency preparedness, and veterans' issues. This can include the realignment or closure of military bases, the defense of the state and nation, and Texas’ emergency preparedness. For Texas Veterans, the committee works with the Texas Veterans Commission on all veterans related services.
ELECTIONS - The Elections Committee works diligently to protect the integrity and accessibility of elections in Texas. This includes promoting the right of suffrage in Texas through revisions, modifications, amendments, or changes to the Election Code. All legislation regarding primary, special, and general elections gets referred to the Elections Committee. The committee also reviews campaign finance legislation to protect the integrity of elections in Texas.
ENERGY RESOURCES - Creating and maintaining a resilient electricity grid for Texas is the top priority for the Energy Resources Committee. Committee members review legislation dealing with the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources. Legislation reported out of this committee directly helps to increase energy efficiency throughout the state. After Winter Storm Uri, the Energy Resources Committee has taken a keen interest in electric utility regulation as it relates to energy production and consumption. This includes identifying, developing, and using alternative energy sources to meet the energy demands of all Texans.
ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION - The Environmental Regulation Committee is responsible for keeping Texas beautiful. The committee has jurisdiction over all matters regarding air, land, and water pollution, including the environmental regulation of industrial development. The Environmental Regulation Committee is also tasked with oversight of waste disposal and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
GENERAL INVESTIGATING - The General Investigating Committee may initiate investigations of state government, state agencies, state spending, and any other matter the committee determines is necessary for the welfare of Texans. After the investigation, the committee reports its findings to members of the Texas Legislature.
HIGHER EDUCATION - The Higher Education Committee is given jurisdiction for all legislation regarding education in Texas beyond high school. Namely, the operation of colleges and universities of the State of Texas like the University of Texas System, Texas A&M System, Texas Tech, and Texas State. The Higher Education works with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to review all legislation regarding higher education.
HOMELAND SECURITY AND PUBLIC SAFETY - Paramount to the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee is the defense of Texas and the United States. This committee has jurisdiction on legislation regarding law enforcement, the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals, security services by private entities, and homeland security. To enhance the state’s ability to respond to disasters the committee also reviews legislation on disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
HOUSE ADMINISTRATION - As its name suggests, the House Administration Committee is responsible for administrative operations of the Texas House and its employees. This includes maintaining an appropriate workplace, keeping track of witnesses appearing before the house or any committee, and ensuring the Rules of Procedure of the House are followed.
HUMAN SERVICES - The Human Services Committee has oversight over welfare and rehabilitation programs, intellectual disabilities programs, and the prevention and treatment of intellectual disabilities.
INSURANCE - All legislation pertaining to insurance and insurance companies in the State of Texas are reviewed by the Insurance Committee.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Relations between the State of Texas and other nations, including trade relations, are reviewed by the International Relations and Economic Development Committee. The Committee also reviews domestic relations between the State of Texas, the federal government, and other states on matters involving defense, emergency preparedness, veterans' issues, commerce, trade, and manufacturing.
JUDICIARY AND CIVIL JURISPRUDENCE - The Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee has jurisdiction over legislation regarding civil law. This includes the rights, duties, and remedies for Texans in court proceedings. The Committee also regulates Texas courts by creating and changing the judicial districts of the state, establishing districts for the election of judicial officers, and ensuring the uniformity of state laws.
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND FAMILY ISSUES - The purpose of this committee is twofold, to review legislation that pertains to criminal proceedings involving juveniles as well as legislation regarding familial relationships. The committee has jurisdiction over the commitment and rehabilitation of youths via the operation and management of juvenile correctional facilities. Legislation that addresses familial relationships including rights, duties, remedies, and procedures is also referred to this committee.
LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - The Land and Resource Management Committee is responsible for the management of all public lands in Texas. They review the power of eminent domain, regulate municipal utility districts, governmental land use, as well as zoning across the state.
LICENSING AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES - This Committee has broad jurisdiction for oversight of businesses, industries, general trades, and occupations regulated by this state. The committee also regulates the sale of alcoholic beverages across the state.
LOCAL AND CONSENT CALENDARS - The Local and Consent Calendars Committee places bills and resolutions that are local or uncontested onto the appropriate calendar. The committee determines the priority for floor consideration of these bills and resolutions.
NATURAL RESOURCES - To conserve the natural resources of Texas, the Natural Resources Committee is given jurisdiction to control the development of natural resources throughout the state. The Committee has jurisdiction over river compacts and the Texas Water Development Board to ensure the conservation of water resources.
PENSIONS, INVESTMENTS, AND FINANCIAL SERVICES - This committee is responsible for financial infrastructure within the State of Texas including the state banking system, loan associations, and credit unions. Legislation regarding the lending of money, regulating bonds and debts, as well as securities and investments is all referred to this committee.
PUBLIC EDUCATION - The Public Education Committee has an extremely important job in reviewing all legislation pertaining to elementary and secondary education in Texas public schools. Beyond curriculum changes, proposals to create, change, or otherwise alter school districts of the state are referred to the Public Education Committee.
PUBLIC HEALTH - The core function of the Public Health Committee is to protect the public health of all Texans by supervising and controlling the practice of medicine and dentistry and other allied health services. The committee is also vitally important for developing mental health programs to prevent and treat mental illness.
REDISTRICTING - The Redistricting Committee is given jurisdiction to create or make changes to the boundaries of legislative districts, congressional districts, judicial districts, and governing bodies of political subdivisions or state agencies as required by law.
RESOLUTIONS CALENDARS - The Resolutions Calendars Committee is responsible for placing resolutions that are either congratulatory or memorial in nature on the appropriate calendars. The committee will also determine the order that the Texas House will considerer and vote on the resolutions.
STATE AFFAIRS - This committee has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to questions and matters of state policy, the administration of state government, operations of state agencies, as well as the conduct of state employees and public officials. The State Affairs Committee also has broad jurisdiction over state policy regarding electric utilities, telecommunications, pipelines, and cybersecurity in Texas. Legislation that pertains to broad policies that affect the entire state is referred to this committee.
TRANSPORTATION - The Transportation Committee is given jurisdiction over the operation and regulation of all motor vehicles in Texas. The Committee is also responsible for transportation infrastructure including roads, airports, railroads, harbors, and metropolitan transit.
URBAN AFFAIRS - The Urban Affairs Committee looks primarily at legislation regarding municipalities in Texas. This includes the creation, organization, powers, government, and finance of Texas municipalities. Legislation seeking to address problems and issues at the municipal level is referred to this committee. Along with the Elections Committee, the establishment of districts for the election of governing bodies of municipalities is referred to the Urban Affairs Committee.
WAYS AND MEANS - All bills or resolutions regarding state revenue, state taxes, allocating funds, diverting funds, or altering tax law is referred to the Ways and Means Committee. Legislation about the collection of government revenue and taxes, including property appraisals, is referred to this committee.
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CARE REFORM - This committee was created to provide a cross-jurisdictional forum for the consideration of issues that broadly affect the state's health care delivery system. The committee has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to reducing the impact of excessive health care costs, improving the affordability and access of health care, improving access to prescription drugs, and improving patient health outcomes.
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON YOUTH HEALTH AND SAFETY - This committee was created to provide a cross-jurisdictional forum for the consideration of issues that broadly affect the health, safety, and rights of Texas youth. This includes creating a safer environment for Texas youth in schools, on social media platforms, and in child protective services. Legislation pertaining to these subjects will be referred to the committee.
These 36 committees will be hard at work until Monday, May 29th when the 88th Legislative Session adjourns. To make sure you don’t miss a minute, be sure to watch Committee meetings live via the Video-Audio section of the Texas House website and check the archives to watch committee hearings you may have missed.