Speaker Joe Strauss (R-Bexar) appointed House Committees today. There was a change in the House Corrections Committee. During the 81st session, Jim McReynolds (D-Lufkin) will chair the Corrections committee. Other committee members include:
- Jerry Madden (R- Collin) -- former chair
- Terry Hodge (D-Dallas)
- Kirk England (D-Dallas)
- Harold Dutton (D-Houston)
- Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
- Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso)
- Armando Martinez (D-Hildalgo)
- Sid Miller (R-Stephenville)
- Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (D-Corpus Christi)
- Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple)
From my experience at the lege, McReynolds is a strong appointment to chair the committe. And with Madden serving has Vice-Chair, many of the strong reforms instituted in previous sessions under his leadership should influence the committee going forward.
Kolkhorst's appointment should temper any bad legislation that private prison profiteers will attempt to push this session. Kolkhorst has Huntsville in her district -- home to many of the state's prisons including the Prison Museum. Further, her prison guard constituents will work with her to represent their interests.
And Hodge and Dutton are strong supporters of criminal justice reform efforts. Both have a long history of iniatiating and supporting policy solutions that result in a more humane and fair system.
On the Senate side, the appointments were made a few weeks ago. The only new appointment to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee committe this year was Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) The committee continues to be chaired by Senate Dean John Whitmire (D-Houston). Other committee members include: