Yesterday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made his much anticipated appointments to the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. The panel will be chaired by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and the vice chair will be Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston). Gallegos served as co-chair of a similar committee ten years ago. The 11-member panel will have seven Republicans and four Democrats. The members include the following: John Carona (R-Dallas), Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Dan Patrick (R-Houston), Royce West (D-Dallas), Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) and Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo).
Going into this holiday weekend, the Capitol has been abuzz with activity. Monday, the House Committee on Environmental Regulation discussed recycling. On Tuesday, the House Select Committee on Government Efficiency & Accountability met to discuss privatization. Also Tuesday, the House Select Committee on Fiscal Stability discussed the cause of the current budget shortfall and explored possible solutions. Yesterday, the Legislative Study Group, a group of House Democrats, met to hear from invited witnesses on the subject of gambling in Texas. If you are interested in listening to any of these hearings, follow this link to the Texas House website and scroll to the bottom of the page under the heading “Archived Broadcasts”: http://www.house.state.tx.us/media/welcome.php
Texas Democrats held their state party convention last week in Corpus Christi. Despite complaints during the last presidential election, the party chose to keep the dual primary vote and caucus system called the two-step.
For those of you who have spent a lot of time up at the Texas Capitol during legislative sessions, you may recall frequent sightings of a man in full biker gear, covered in tattoos and smelling of smoke. Sputnik, who fought for the rights of motorcyclists for many years, died of a heart attack last week. The halls of the pink dome won’t be the same.