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Potomac in the Pines

ICYMI: Area reps' committee assignments for current session

In Potomac in the Pines

By Potomac
Feb. 9, 2015 at 12:46 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2015 at 7:51 a.m.


Two area state representatives received vice chairmanships in committee assignments announced this week by House Speaker Joe Straus.

Straus, R-San Antonio, assigned 149 members to 38 committees, which will meet for initial hearings and give recommendations regarding hundreds of bills during the session.

Of the House delegation from the immediate Longview area, two members voted against Straus for speaker, supporting a challenger they considered more conservative. Neither of those members received a leadership role on any committee. The East Texas representatives who sided with Straus each nabbed a vice chairmanship.

Committee assignments are important because they can determine a legislator’s influence on important policy decisions.

Harvey Kronberg, a Texas political analyst and publisher of The Quorum Report, told the Tyler Morning Telegraph Straus may have placed a couple area legislators in committees that are “way down the food chain” but it appeared all received assignments that would allow them to push personal bills.

PADDIE

Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, was appointed vice chairman of the Energy Resources Committee, and will serve on the Transportation Committee and the House Administration Committee. Paddie supported Straus for speaker.

During the 2013 session, his first, Paddie served on the Energy Resources Committee and the Land and Resource Management Committee.

Paddie represents House District 9, which includes Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby and Sabine counties, including the cities of Marshall, Hallsville and Carthage.

CLARDY

Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, was appointed vice chairman of the Local and Consent Calendar Committee, and will serve on the Judicial and Civil Jurisprudence Committee and Higher Education Committee. Clardy also supported Straus.

During the 2013 session, Clardy served on the Higher Education, Local and Consent Calendars, and the Special Purpose Districts committee.

Clardy represents House District 11, which includes Cherokee, Rusk and Nacogdoches counties, including the cities of Jacksonville, Henderson and Nacogdoches.

HUGHES

Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, was appointed to the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues committee and the House Appropriations Committee. Hughes

Scott Turner, R-Frisco, who challenged Straus

During the 2013 session, Hughes served as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee and served on the Elections, House Administration, and Rules & Resolutions committees. He also served as vice chairman of the Rural Caucus, an organization of legislative leaders that addresses rural interests within the Legislature.

Hughes represents House District 5, which includes Titus, Wood, Camp, Morris and Rains counties, including the cities of Mount Pleasant, Daingerfield, Pittsburgh, Emory, Quitman and Mineola; and portions of northern and eastern Smith County, including Hideaway, Lindale, Winona, Arp and Troup.

SIMPSON

Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, was assigned to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and Agriculture and Livestock Committee.

During the 2013 session, he served on the Border and Intergovernmental Affairs and Urban Affairs committees.

Simpson represents House District 7, which includes Upshur and Gregg counties, including the cities of Gilmer, Gladewater and Longview.

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Following are statements from the lawmakers regarding their assignments:

PADDIE APPOINTED VICE CHAIRMAN OF ENERGY RESOURCES COMMITTEE AND MEMBER OF TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

AUSTIN -- State Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee and to the Transportation Committee. Additionally, Rep. Paddie will serve on the House Administration Committee.

"I am excited to be the vice chairman of the Energy Resources committee. I served as a member of the Energy Committee last session and was pleased with the important work that we were able to get done," said Rep. Paddie. "Now that we have our committee assignments, I am looking forward to getting to work and tackling the pressing issues facing our state."

The Energy Resources Committee has jurisdiction over the conservation of the energy resources of Texas; the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources; the leasing and regulation of mineral rights under public lands; mining; developing and using alternative energy sources; and increasing energy efficiency throughout the state. The committee also oversees the Railroad Commission, the Texas Energy Coordination Council and the State Energy Conservation Office.

The Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over the Texas highway and roadway system, the licensing of motor vehicles, regulation and control of traffic on the state highway system, railroads, airports and waterways, as well as overseeing the Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Transportation is one of the most important and pressing issues facing our state in light of the explosive population growth that we are experiencing. Finding the appropriate funding sources to maintain our transportation system and to relieve traffic and congestion will be one of the main focuses this legislative session. I am glad to be involved in finding those solutions," said Rep. Paddie.

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Rep. Clardy Appointed to Key Committees

AUSTIN, TX - Today, State Representative Travis Clardy was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on four key committees for the 84th legislative session. Rep. Clardy will serve as Vice-Chair of the Local & Consent Calendars committee and will also serve on Higher Education, Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, and finally the new State & Federal Power & Responsibility committee.

“I'm truly honored to serve on these House committees and blessed to have the opportunity to work hard for the citizens of Texas,” Clardy said. “This session will be a crucial one for the future of our state and I believe these committee assignments will allow me to represent District 11 in a meaningful way."

Rep. Clardy will serve as Vice-Chair of the Local & Consent Calendars committee that oversees the placement of local or uncontested bills. Additionally the committee exercises control over determination of priorities for floor consideration of local bills.

"It is a great honor to be named Vice-Chairman of the Local & Consent Calendars committee. I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to serve with Chairwoman Thompson and her great expertise in this area. Local and Consent is an instrumental committee that helps the Texas House run in an efficient and organized manner.”

In addition, Rep. Clardy will serve on the House Committee on Higher Education, which oversees the many colleges and universities of the state of Texas.

"Our future is inextricably intertwined with the of quality of education for all Texans. I'm excited to serve with Chairman Zerwas and other members of the House as we work to improve our institutions of higher learning and create an even a brighter future for Stephen F. Austin State University."

The third committee Rep. Clardy will serve on will be Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence which has jurisdication over civil law suits, civil procedure in Texas courts, administrative law, state law uniformity, and judicial districting.

Finally, Rep. Clardy will serve on the State and Federal Power and Responsibilities committee, which oversees the economic impact that the federal government has on the state and helps promote states' rights.

Rep. Clardy is currently serving his second term as the State Representative for House District 11, which includes Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and Rusk counties.

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Hughes Appointed Again to Powerful House Appropriations Committee

AUSTIN - Representative Bryan Hughes announced today his Committee assignments for the 84th Texas Legislature. He has been appointed to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues.

"The Appropriations Committee is one of the most sought after in the House. I am thankful to again be a member of this committee, where I can continue to be a voice for East Texas and to make sure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and frugally," Hughes said of his appointment to the Appropriations Committee.

Regarding Juvenile Justice and Family Issues, Hughes remarked, "This committee deals with sensitive and complex issues. I'll be working with parents and teachers, law enforcement, and other community leaders to find the right solutions for our youth who find themselves in conflict with the law."

Bryan Hughes represents District Five in the Texas House of Representatives, made up of Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith, Titus and Wood Counties.

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The Wait Is Over...

We received our committee assignments for the 84th legislature on Wednesday, putting an end to the "hurry up and wait" period of session. I am grateful to serve on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee (one of my seniority requests) and the Agriculture and Livestock Committee (a Speaker appointment). Both committees have jurisdiction over important matters affecting House District Seven and all of Texas.

In addition to analyzing filed legislation, meeting with constituents, and preparing our legislation, my staff and I will now begin reviewing bills as they are assigned to these committees and making final recommendations on bills as they come out of other committees.

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