AUSTIN, Texas – Border lawmakers say they are very pleased with the committee assignments they have been given by the new speaker of the Texas House, Dennis Bonnen.
Five border lawmakers were named committee chairmen and six were named committee vice chairs. State Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso was named vice chair of the powerful Calendars Committee and Speaker Pro Team.
The five committee chairmen from the border are: Terry Canales of Edinburg (Transportation), Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City (Resolutions Calendars),
Eddie Lucio III of Harlingen (Insurance), Alfonso ‘Poncho’ Nevárez of Eagle Pass (Homeland Security & Public Safety), and Tracy O. King of Laredo (Licensing & Administrative Procedures).
In addition to Moody, the other five committee chairs are: Guillen (Ways & Means), Mary González of San Eliario, Oscar Longoria of La Joya (Appropriations), Armando Martínez of Weslaco (Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee), Sergio Muñoz. Jr., of Palmview (Land & Resource Management Committee).
Almost every border lawmaker is a member of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. MALC members were appointed to nine chair positions, twelve vice chair, and the position of Speaker Pro Tem for the 86th Legislature. The newly-appointed committees position MALC members in 33 out of 34 House committees and account for nearly a third (29 percent) of chair positions announced.
MALC Chairman Rafael Anchia of Dallas said: “We thank Speaker Bonnen for entrusting our members with continued leadership roles. The scope and reach of the newly-appointed committee assignments allow MALC members to lead on issues important to every Texas family – funding our schools, good paying jobs, and fostering healthy communities.”
Here are the comments of some of the border legislators:
“It is a tremendous honor bestowed on House District 74 to be appointed chairman of Homeland Security and Public Safety by Speaker Bonnen. This committee is vital to the security of Texas and I am proud to represent our border community. I remain committed to maintaining my commonsense approach to problem solving and taking on the task of keeping us safe,” Nevárez said.
“Thank you to the Speaker and his staff for their diligence in allowing me to represent the constituents of House District 74 and more importantly, the state of Texas.”
Nevárez has served as vice chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety for the past two legislative session. The committee has jurisdiction over law enforcement, prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. This also includes defense of the state and nation, including terrorism response and disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In addition, Homeland Security oversees the following Texas agencies: Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Emergency Management Council, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, the Texas Private Security Board, the Commission on State Emergency Communications, and the Texas Crime Stoppers Council.
“This has been a big year for young Latinos across the country. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of the trailblazers who have paved the way.”
Canales pointed out that the Committee on Transportation is responsible for oversight of critical infrastructure development for the state including roads, railways, and ports.
“With explosive population growth across Texas, including in my own district, our state must plan for future transportation needs, while continuously maintaining our present infrastructure. I look forward to working closely with local, state, and federal partners to make sure Texas’ transportation network continues to be the best in the country.”
The Speaker also appointed Canales to the Committee on Land and Resource Management.
“I would like to thank Speaker Bonnen for selecting me to serve on these committees as they will each present significant opportunities to improve the daily lives of the citizens of District 40 and the great State of Texas,” Canales added.
“I am sincerely honored and grateful to be appointed to these very important committees. I want to thank Speaker Bonnen for entrusting me with these assignments and for placing me in a position to continue to serve Texas through my work on these committees.”
As the 4th seniority ranking member of the 27-member House Appropriations Committee, Muñoz is well-versed in the state’s budget writing process. He said he is prepared to collaborate with his colleagues to address the pressing demands of the state and particularly, of the Rio Grande Valley.
Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby’ Guerra of McAllen:
“I would like to thank Speaker Bonnen for entrusting me with these important committee assignments and look forward to working with all my colleagues for the betterment of Texas,” Guerra said. Guerra was named to the powerful Committee on State Affairs and the Committee on Public Health.
Rep. Alex Dominguez of Brownsville:
“It is a great honor to represent the Valley delegation on the Natural Resources Committee working with Chairman Lyle Larson. This is a great opportunity to work with different cities, regions, and agencies to prepare for our current and future water needs, work to prevent flooding in my district and the state should another natural disaster occur,” said Dominguez, a freshman.
Dominguez pointed out that the Committee on Natural Resources has jurisdiction over the conservation of the natural resources of Texas, including the control and development of land and water, as well as oversight of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Additionally, Natural Resources oversees a number of state agencies, including the Office of the Rio Grande Compact Commissioner for Texas, the Southwestern States Water Commission, and the Texas Water Development Board.
“I would also like to thank Speaker Bonnen for recognizing the strengths and experience that I bring as a former County Commissioner by selecting me to serve alongside Representative Garnet Coleman on the County Affairs Committee,” Dominguez added.
Rep. César Blanco of El Paso:
“I’m grateful that Speaker Bonnen has appointed me to these key committees. These committees have a profound impact on the state of Texas, El Paso, and our economy.
“As a member of the Committee on Environmental Regulation I look forward to ensuring we are the best stewards of our environment while keeping the Texas economy the envy of the nation.
“I am particularly proud to serve on the revamped Committee on International Relations & Economic Development. This committee will take up critical issues that have a direct and important impact on El Paso such as commerce, trade, and economic and workforce development.
“I look forward to serving on these committees and working to keep Texas the best state to live and work.”