Even With A New Speaker, The Texas House Wasn’t ‘Amazingly Different’ This Session

KUT’s Ben Philpott says the legislative agenda under House Speaker Dennis Bonnen was similar to what former Speaker Joe Straus would have supported, minus the drama with the lieutenant governor.

By Michael MarksMay 28, 2019 6:50 am, , ,

Not all Texas legislative sessions are created equal. For one thing, this year’s was the first session for new House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. But Ben Philpott, a longtime lege observer, and senior editor at our home station, KUT in Austin, says that Bonnen, who took over for former House Speaker Joe Straus, didn’t seem to diverge much from what Straus likely would have done.

“I don’t know that the House passed or did not pass things in an amazingly different way than we would have seen if Speaker Straus were still in there,” Philpott says. “Speaker Straus was a champion of school finance … he was not a big fan of some of the more controversial bills – some of the more controversial bills did not still come up to the floor of the Texas House.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus lost some momentum since Straus left office

– Why Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick may have taken a different approach to this legislative session, compared to that of 2017

– Why this session could help Gov. Greg Abbott’s likely bid for reelection


Written by Caroline Covington.