Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) appointed the House committees yesterday. CPA and TSCPA member Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton) was named chair of the important and powerful Appropriations Committee and CPA and TSCPA member Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) will chair the Economic & Small Business Development Committee.
The only bill the legislature has to pass is the Appropriations bill and Otto will be the driving force as the House crafts HB 1, which will be the primary budget bill this session.
With Otto’s CPA experience and his service on the Appropriations committee since 2007, he is well prepared for the assignment. He served as an Appropriations subcommittee chair last session and has been on the House/Senate budget conference committee for the past three sessions.
In addition to chairing Economic & Small Business Development, Button will also continue to serve on the Ways & Means committee, the tax writing committee of the House, as well as the Rules and Resolutions committee.
Tom Frullo (R-Lubbock), who has an inactive CPA license in another state, was selected to chair the House Insurance committee and will also serve on the Culture, Recreation and Tourism committee.
The other CPAs in the House have the following committee assignments:
- Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) will serve on Juvenile Justice & Family Issues and Land & Resource Management
- Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), who is also a TSCPA member, will serve on Investments & Financial Services and Pensions.
The House Licensing & Administrative Procedures committee continues to be chaired by Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Houston). This is the committee with jurisdiction over Accountancy Act issues. The committee has a new vice-chair, Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) who has served on the committee during the last two sessions. Most of the other members of the committee served last session. The two new members are Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) and Rep. Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels).
The Ways & Means committee has a new chair, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Friendswood) and new vice-chair, Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas). Davis is also the Democratic Caucus chair. Ways & Means is almost all new members with only Button, Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher (D-San Antonio) having served last session. With all the talk about tax cuts by the Governor, Lt. Governor and Senate Finance Committee Chair, those cuts will have to make it through Ways & Means in the House. Chair Bonnen was quoted as saying, “he hopes his work as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee helps provide tax cuts to Texans.” That just about makes it unanimous.
Straus stayed with past practice; he appointed 13 Democratic committee chairs, the amount proportional to the number of Democrats in the House. And the Dems got their share of important committees.
For those of you that want to see the complete list of committee assignments, here is the link to the list by committee; and here is the link to the list by member; or if you just want to look up a specific committee, this link works best.