Retaining most of last session's committee leaders, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed three new chairs when he filled this session's 14 slots last week
Patrick returned nine Republicans to the same committee chair roles they held last session and
returned chairs to two Democrats - John Whitmire (D-Houston), who will chair Criminal Justice, and Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville), who will chair Intergovernmental Relations.
Last year, the upper chamber voted to reduce the number of committees from 18 to 14, eliminating or consolidating the following: economic development, government organization, jurisprudence, open government.
By law, no bills can be passed in the first 60 days of session unless they fall under one of the governor's emergency measures, which will likely be release in the coming weeks. Patrick has already assigned bill numbers to some of his top priorities, and committees have begun meeting.
for a full list of committee assignments)
Senate committee chairs (new chairs in bold):
Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs - Charles Perry
Business & Commerce -
Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
Criminal Justice - John Whitmire
Education - Larry Taylor
Finance - Jane Nelson
*Health & Human Services - Charles Schwertner
*Higher Education - Kel Seliger
*Intergovernmental Relations - Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Natural Resources & Economic Development -
Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls)
Nominations - Brian Birdwell
*State Affairs - Joan Huffman
*Transportation - Robert Nichols
*Veteran Affairs & Military Installations - Donna Campbell