In a House Administration Committee hearing on Tuesday, State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) proposed a rule change that would end the practice of Democrats receiving powerful committee chairmanships, which enables them to kill conservative priority legislation.
Slaton’s proposed rule would require majority leadership in the Texas House to appoint committee chairs from the majority party to each committee.
“If the people of Texas vote to give a certain party control of the government to make laws, their wills should be honored,” said Slaton.
He proposed a similar change to the House rules at the beginning of the 87th Legislative Session in 2021. Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) and House leadership opposed the measure, though, and Slaton was one of only five Republicans to vote for ending the practice of awarding Democrats committee chairmanships.
Now, as 81 percent of Republican primary voters have expressed support for this proposed change and the Republican Party of Texas selected it as a legislative priority for the upcoming session, Slaton said, “It’s clear that the majority of Republican voters in the state want Republican leadership when they vote to give us the majority during the legislative session.”
“I believe to oppose this rule’s amendment is to blatantly oppose the will of the Republican voters of Texas and the people that voted us into office,” said Slaton.
The Texas GOP recently called out many Republican lawmakers for refusing to support ending the awarding of chairmanships to the minority party. Only 18 of the 86 House Republicans have announced their support for ending the practice.
Other proposed changes to the rules include mechanisms to increase transparency, efficiency, and more protections for conservative priority legislation when in committee.
The House Administration Committee will evaluate all of the proposed changes and draft preliminary rules for the upcoming session, which will be voted on by lawmakers after the session begins on January 10, 2023.
Concerned citizens can find contact information for their representatives in the Texas Scorecard directory.