October was a tumultuous month for the Texas House of Representatives after Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced he would not seek re-election. This has set in motion numerous Republican and Democratic Caucus meetings of how to proceed in the interim. Unless Governor Abbott calls a special session for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker, we will have to wait 14 months before another Speaker can be selected. To date, Speaker Bonnen has not issued the interim charges. Lt. Governor Patrick issued the Senate interim charges mid-October, most of which included charges your Chamber submitted.
Since the Democrats only need nine seats to take control of the House, the stakes are high. To date special elections across the country are favoring Democratic candidates due to national politics, and much attention is being focused on Texas. What does all this mean for interests of the Chamber? Basically, we will be navigating the interim in very uncertain times. The good news is that our pro-business champions are leaders in both parties. Rep. Drew Darby (District-72) came in second to Rep. Dennis Bonnen in the previous Speaker’s race, and many say Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson (District-141) has a good chance of being the first woman and the first African American Speaker. Our own Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer is also already organizing and is a top contender.
Although many groups will see this as a challenge, this interim will present an even bigger opportunity for the Chamber to widen its brand and reach. Our members were successful in strengthening relationships in both the House and Senate this past legislative session. This helps to strategically target a path to putting a positive agenda forward and our members in an excellent position for the 87th Legislative Session.
Count on your Chamber to keep you updated during the interim session. For more information, contact Stephanie Reyes, Vice President of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 210-229-2162.