State Rep. Mark Homer, who represents Hopkins County in the Texas House of Representatives, was appointed Thursday to chair the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and was also named to the Land and Resource Management Committee.
"Given the importance of recent legislative initiatives regarding Texas land and public resources, I consider my committee assignments perfect, and I am very pleased to be named Chairman of the Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee,” Homer said in a press release.
All representatives in the 150-member House are assigned to committees on specific topics, and that’s where much of the work of the Legislature is done.
It’s where bills get their start and are crafted. Committee chairmen can be powerful because they have the discretion to let bills linger and die, too.
The assignment came as Republican House Speaker Joe Straus appointed his leadership team Thursday, answering the questions of how he would reward supporters and how much power he would give to Democrats.
Straus, a popular leader since he was elected speaker last month, gave prime committee chairmanships to all 10 Republicans who first put forth Straus’ candidacy and made his rise to power possible. He also is giving Democrats their first taste of power in a GOP-controlled House.
The Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee that Homer will chair has jurisdiction over issues dealing with state parks, hunting and fishing, both cultural and historical resources and their development, Texas Economic Development and Tourism, and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Compact.
The Parks and Wildlife Department, State Library and Archives Commission and State Preservation Board are a few of the agencies that the Culture, Recreation, and Tourism oversee.
The Land and Resource Management Committee will be busy throughout this legislative session dealing with land issues that impact rural parts of the state.
"Controlling eminent domain is an issue that is near and dear to the heart of rural Texans, and it is only proper our area have representation on this issue," said Homer, D-Paris.
The Land and Resource Management Committee also has jurisdiction over the management of public lands, and governmental regulation of land use.
The committee's responsibilities include the oversight of agencies such as the School Land Board, the General Land Office, and the Board for Lease of University Lands.
"I am pleased by the bipartisan tone that speaker Straus has established, and I am looking forward to a productive session for Dstrict 3 and all of the state of Texas," Homer said.
In addition to Hopkins County, District 3 includes Franklin County, Lamar County, Titus County, Delta County and Red River County.
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