As the Texas Legislature moves closer to the upcoming legislative session in 2025 a few headwinds remain that will potentially set the scene for an very interesting relationship between the Texas House and Senate.

In regards to legislative leadership, the biggest headwind looming is whether or not the current Speaker of the House, Rep. Dad Phelan, will emerge a victor in the May 28 election run-off against a relatively unknown candidate in House District 21.  Speaker Phelan’s re-election campaign has been under assault from outside conservative groups seeking to beat the Beaumont-based legislator and create new paradigm in the way the Texas House runs its operations.  On top of this situation is a growing group of current legislators and soon-to-be legislators seeking significant changes in House parliamentary rules, committee chair assignments, leadership tenure, and overall operations of the Texas House.

Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, has publicly announced his run for the Speakership. This will undoubtedly open the gate whereby other legislators may announce their intent to convince their colleagues to support his or her candidacy.  With a continued majority of Republicans in the Texas House some of the ideas about how only the House Republican Caucus will ultimately choose the next Speaker has caused some consternation among the Republican House members as the best method to choose their leader.  What is heavily in most of the inner conversations is the determination not to have any Democrats to serve as committee chairs.  With the Republican majority, some legislators feel the need not to include Democrats to serve as committee chairs or even to have a majority of Democrats on any committees.

Outside groups that support the current Texas House regime feel Lt. Governor Patrick, and perhaps Governor Abbott, as either not supporting Speaker Phelan’s re-election or trying to convince House legislators and candidates that may be victorious in the General election to weigh in to the ultimate decision as to whom may emerge as Speaker of the House.

A “Contract with Texas” group made up mainly of expected House members have put together a list of recommendations as to how the Texas House should operate that is suspected to provide significant debate in January.

Post courtesy of Texas Campgrounds Legislative Consultant Ron Hinkle