Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has announced committee assignments, clearing the way for hearings to begin.
Straus filled 38 standing committees and three select committees on Thursday, maintaining the tradition of appointing both Republicans and Democrats to leadership positions. Republicans will chair 28 committees and Democrats 13.
Senior members of the Republican majority will continue to control the most important committees. Kerrville Rep. Harvey Hilderbran will continue to chair Ways and Means and Waxahachie Rep. Jim Pitts will chair Appropriations. Straus appointed Killeen Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock as the new public education chairman.
Democratic Rep. Rene Oliveira was appointed chair of the Business and Industry Committee, while recently re-elected Rep. Abel Herrero from South Texas will lead the Criminal Justice Committee.
The Texas House has 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats.