The Corpus Christi Caller-Times’ Editorial Board On Why Committee Assignments Matter

Corpus Christi used to have more sway at the Capitol because of its rep. who chaired the House Calendars Committee, but most people didn’t know or care.

By Rhonda Fanning & Michael MarksJanuary 28, 2019 12:41 pm

The editorial board of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times says what people don’t know about committee assignments in the Texas Legislature can hurt them.

“They are a measure of how much clout you have, via your senator and representative. They are why your city can’t ban fracking inside city limits or ban plastic bags,” the editorial board wrote in a recent op-ed.

Tom Whitehurst, the Caller-Times’ opinion editor, says that the reason the editorial board wrote about this issue is that Corpus Christi’s state Rep. Todd Hunter was the Texas House Calendars Committee chairman for eight years, and that position is considered the third most powerful position in the legislature; it has the power to schedule when bills go to the House floor for a vote.

“[Hunter] was known to use that power,” Whitehurst says.

Whitehurst says the people who lead these committees matter because they make decisions about things that affect the lives of everyday Texans – things like education and property taxes.

He says committees are “where the things happen that we don’t pay attention to, that as a result, we end up with results that we don’t like.” 

Written by Morgan Kuehler.