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Last week, Speaker Joe Straus announced the committee assignments for the Texas House of Representatives of the 82nd Legislative Session. I received the great honor and distinction to be once again named one of Speaker Straus’s Committee Chairmen. I have been given the distinct privilege and honor to serve as the Chairman of House Calendars for the 82nd session.
Speaker Straus stated: “I am pleased to appoint Rep. Hunter as chair of the House Committee on Calendars, which plays an integral role in shepherding critical legislation through the House and Senate. I know that Todd will serve our body well in this role, while continuing to make many other significant contributions to the House in redistricting and other matters that are important to our state.”
The House Calendars Committee is tasked with the organization of bills as they are sent to the House Floor. This procedure is required due to the volume of bills that are received from the other House committees. The organization of the house calendar includes deciding on the order of which bills go before the House floor for debate and voting. In addition to being named as Chairman of House Calendars, I was also fortunate to be named to the Redistricting, Corrections, General Investigating and Ethics and the Human Services Committees, as well as the Chairman of the Select Committee on Election Contest.
As many of you know, my assignment to the Redistricting Committee is also an extremely important appointment for the Coastal Bend. Every ten years, states across the United States including Texas are required to redraw their Congressional seats as well as their state seats due to the new census numbers. This process will decide the make-up of the Texas House and Texas Senate seats, as well as the Congressional seats for the next ten years. The importance’s of this committee is even more significant this time due to the State of Texas receiving four congressional seats, more than any other state in the country. This great assignment will provide me with the opportunity to be directly involved in this significant process.
I am also honored to serve as a member of the Corrections Committee. As a member of the committee, I will have legislative jurisdiction over an array of important issues. The committee will be tasked with overseeing such issues as the incarceration and rehabilitations of convicted felons as well as juvenile delinquency and gang violence. In addition to the oversight of these important issues, the Corrections Committee is also tasked with overseeing nine state agencies including the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Youth Commission.
While my appointment to the Corrections Committee allows me to oversee issues such as our state prison system, my appointment to the Human Services Committee provides me with direct input into one of our state’s largest agencies, the Health and Human Service Commission. The final standing committee appointment I received was to the General Investigating and Ethics Committee. This committee has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the conduct of and ethical standards applicable to local and state government officers and employees. If you would like to see the make-up of the thirty eight standing committees, you can go to www.house.state.tx.us and click on committees for a complete list.
I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on these committees and look forward to working for the people of this great state and our great district 32. If you have questions or comments regarding any of my appointments or the appointments to any of the committees, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
As we begin this new year, I want to thank everyone for allowing me the privilege of serving everyone in House District 32 (Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces and San Patricio Counties). It was truly an honor for me to return to the Texas Capitol as your State Representative in 2009. As many of you will recall, I served as the State Representative for District 32 from 1989-1997. Upon my return to the legislature, I recognized quickly that new times brought new challenges both for the state and for our coastal area.
During the 81st Legislative Session, I was named Chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. This proved to be an important appointment for the Coastal Bend as our area had not had a leadership role as a Committee Chairman for many years. The Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee handled one of the largest workloads of any standing House committee during the 81st Session. I also served on the Insurance Committee, which was critical to affecting legislation on windstorm insurance, one of the most important issues facing the coast.
During the past year and a half I have been travelling around the district hosting town hall meetings in order to get public input on an idea which I am very passionate about – the cruise industry. Hearing from the members of our communities has been a very important part of the overall process. One of the next steps in the process is the forming of working groups. If you are interested in being a part of one of these groups, please contact either my Capitol or District Office.
On January 11, 2011 the 82nd Legislative session will begin and I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join us in Austin for the opening day ceremonies. The 82nd Legislature will be sworn in that day at noon. For those who are able to make it, we will have closed circuit television set up in my Capitol Office at E2. 808 and at the Doubletree Hotel located at 303 W. 15th Street to watch the swearing in.
As we begin the 82nd Legislative Session there are some important websites that you can use to follow the Texas Legislature, as well as the bills that are filed and working their way through the process. Those websites are:
• The Texas Legislature
• The Texas House of Representatives
• The Texas Senate
These three sites can be used to track and follow legislation, look up contact information for current Representatives or Senators, or even view live online footage of the respective chambers or committee hearings. Additional sites of interest during the session are the Governor’s office at www.governor.state.tx.us and the Secretary of States’ office at www.sos.state.tx.us , these sites can be used to follow bills as they make their way out of the Texas Legislature and head to the Governor’s office to be signed or vetoed, or the Secretary of State’s office to be placed on the November ballot.
I also wanted you to know that I look forward to working with and hearing from the people of District 32 on all the legislation that will come before the Texas House this coming session. As always if you have any questions, ideas or comments on any pending legislation, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. My offices are always available to you at any time to assist with those questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).