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Committee assignments handed out: Local legislators will deal with insurance, urban issues
The fourth week of the 83rd Texas Legislative session wrapped Thursday, but before house members returned to their districts for the weekend they were handed committee assignments.
Committees are crucial to the legislative process since bills pass through one or more committees before the full body can hold a vote.
Two members of the Collin County delegation hold spots on the House Urban Affairs Committee, an assignment that could prove beneficial considering the suburban nature of their districts.
“We will handle the fast-growing areas of the state, and we certainly live in one of those,” said Rep. Scott Sanford, (R-McKinney). “Because of the relationships I have with city and county leaders in the area, I think I can be a productive member of the committee.”
The other local member of the Urban Affairs Committee is Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), who said he is happy he will have input on bills that directly affect his constituents.
Another committee that has the potential to examine bills that impact the pocketbooks of Texans is the Insurance Committee, where Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano) is one of nine members.
“I have heard from a lot of people about high homeowners insurance rates across the state, so we are going to be able to look into that and potentially change it,” said Taylor, who is a real estate investment banker when he is not in Austin. “I wanted to be on a committee that was business related, but didn’t have any conflict of interest with my profession.”
The committees also serve as a way for freshman legislators such as Leach and Sanford to meet more of their counterparts on both sides of the aisle.
“I made an intentional effort once I got elected to get to know as many members of the House and Senate as I could,” Leach said. “When we have downtime and are walking around the capitol, it is good to meet other members. We have great people down here from all political persuasions who want to do what is in the best interest of the people of Texas.”
Committee meetings begin this week, and bills will start making their way to committees around the time of the March 8 filing deadline.