Catching up a bit from my trip: Republican blog Wilco Wise prints a list of House committee chairs that it says it got from a tipster. Maybe it's accurate, maybe it's not - Vince is skeptical - but it's some interesting reading. For what it's worth, I'd heard a rumor about Aaron Pena getting the Criminal Jurisprudence chair during the Speaker's race, so either that one has some credibility, or we all ultimately have the same sources (a distinct possibility). Either way, it's worth your time to look. On a related note, Eye on Williamson has an observation about allegedly soon-to-be-former chair Buddy West.
Houston's new state senator, talk show host Dan Patrick, will serve as vice chair of the Senate International Relations and Trade Committee, giving him a key voice in the state's role on immigration and border issues.
Border security and illegal immigration were central themes in Patrick's campaign to succeed former Sen. Jon Lindsay, who retired.
Besides that position, Patrick will serve on the Intergovernmental Relations and Health and Human Services committees, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has announced. He also will serve on the Higher Education and the newly formed Flooding & Evacuations subcommittees.
There was talk before the legislative session that Patrick, R-Houston, would get sidelined when it came to choice committee assignments because of his on-air criticism of lawmakers from both parties, who he says fall short of his conservative standards.
"The joke was, let's see what committee assignments the lieutenant governor gives him," Patrick said. "Some people were expecting me to be on all small committees. They were surprised with the quality committee assignments I received."
Patrick said he is pleased with his appointments.
"I will have a front-row seat and voice on two issues that make up almost 90 percent of the state's budget," Patrick said, referring to heavy state expenditures on education and health and human services.
He also noted that the property tax cap bill -- a touchstone for him and other conservatives -- was sent to the Intergovernmental Relations Committee during the last session, and he hopes it is sent there again.
"The truth is, after 10 years of talk radio, I am well-versed in these issues," Patrick said. "If you look at the committees I was assigned to, they all have a strong link between issues I'm interested in or issues important to Harris County."