The presumed next speaker of the Texas House, State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R–Angleton), is already making changes in the chamber, appointing a working group of legislators to assist in his search for a new parliamentarian.
The committee consists of five Republican and five Democrat members:
Republican State Reps.
- Matt Krause (Fort Worth)
- Dustin Burrows (Lubbock)
- Geanie Morrison (Victoria)
- John Wray (Waxahachie)
- Four Price (Amarillo)
Democrat State Reps.
- Rafael Anchia (Dallas)
- Ina Minjarez (San Antonio)
- Joe Moody (El Paso)
- Toni Rose (Dallas)
- Senfronia Thompson (Houston)
A chief grievance of members during the Straus regime was the leadership’s inconsistent and unfair use of the rules in order to prevent members from making motions that could affect the preferred outcome. For example, during the last session alone, many amendments to bills were prevented from even being laid before the body for a vote in spite of the rules.
In another case, members attempted to use the rules to make a motion to bring a pro-life bill — previously stuck in committee — to the floor. The motion wasn’t recognized.
While the failure ultimately falls on Straus, many members have complained that the current parliamentarian Chris Griesel and assistant parliamentarian Shalla Santos have enabled his dictatorial disregard.
A return to the rules of the Texas House would be a victory, not only for conservative members but for all Texans who deserve fair representation in the Legislature.
The appointment of a new parliamentarian is a tangible sign of positive change coming to the Texas House, and the inclusion of Krause in particular shows a sign of good faith to conservative members of the Legislature who have long been cast aside from the process.