Texas House gets committee assignments; top bills can move

Texas House gets committee assignments; top bills can move

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has announced committee assignments, meaning lower chamber debate can being on some of the session's most contentious issues.

Speaker Joe Straus tapped Republican Rep. John Zerwas of Richmond to head the Appropriations Committee, which devises the House's proposed state budget.

The State Affairs Committee, which handles many hot-button bills, will again be run by Corsicana Republican Byron Cook. The new Public Education Committee Chairman is Republican Rep. Dan Huberty from Humble.

The Legislature is barred from approving many bills early in the session. But Gov. Greg Abbott's "emergency items" are exceptions, and debate beings in committees.

The Texas Senate has had committee assignments for weeks, and the full upper chamber has already approved a "sanctuary cities" bill and an overhaul of ethics rules for elected officials.

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