Last week, I announced the membership of every Texas House committee. This was an important milestone in our legislative session, and now we can continue working to address the challenges facing this state.
Speaker Joe Straus on Thursday announced Texas House committee assignments for the 85th Legislature.
The most important bill that any Legislature passes is the state budget that funds education, transportation and other services over the next two years. Writing and approving the state budget is a process that typically requires all five months of the legislative session, and that process has just begun.
Earlier this month, I introduced the initial House budget proposal. Soon I will appoint Members of the House to serve on the Appropriations Committee (and all other committees), and the legislators serving on Appropriations will begin working on their own budget for the full House to consider. In other words, there is a long way to go before the budget reaches the full House for a vote, and even longer to go before the Governor signs a final product into law.
The initial 2018-19 budget introduced by Texas House leadership Tuesday puts additional resources into public education, child protection and mental health while increasing state spending by less than 1 percent.
“We keep overall spending low while making investments in children and our future,” said Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. “We put an emphasis on public education, child protection and better mental health care. The Members of the House, beginning with the Appropriations Committee, will now have the chance to shape this budget and decide how best to allocate resources during an economic slowdown. This is the first step toward producing a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of the Texas House and does not raise taxes.”
The Texas House convened for our 2017 session last week, and by a vote of 150-0, my fellow State Representatives again elected me Speaker of the House. I am grateful for this opportunity to continue serving as the House's presiding officer, and I'm looking forward to the work ahead.