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In a break from customary Texas House practice, a state representative is being denied an opportunity to speak at a committee hearing.

The House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness, chaired by retiring State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), told State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) that he was not allowed to ask any questions or testify during today’s committee hearing.

“Clearly they aren’t confident in their ability to defend their position,” Rinaldi said in response.

“Being told by a committee that my district would not be extended the basic courtesy of a voice in this process is disappointing, but not unexpected, given the past practices of House leadership. I tried to give this committee the benefit of the doubt, but it is clear that they already know what their findings will be, and there is no intention of deliberation or a pursuit of the facts.

 

“I wish we had a real opportunity to discuss all perspectives on important economic drivers for our state, but this committee has made it clear that a diversity of views is not welcome. They have the result planned, now it’s just a matter of putting on a show to publish those results.”

The interim committee, formed by retiring House Speaker Joe Straus, is viewed primarily as a vehicle to cater to special interests and bash privacy legislation that Cook’s House State Affairs Committee killed during this year’s legislative sessions. None of the committee’s members supported the Privacy Act.

The committee is charged with reporting its “findings” by December 12.

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