For the next two years in the House, Republicans will head the Commerce, Conservation and Environment, Consumer and Employee Affairs, Education, Government Operations and State and Local Government committees, plus the all-important Calendar and Rules Committee, the gateway to the House floor through which every bill must pass and which has authority to kill legislation.
Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, is Calendar and Rules’ new chairman, replacing Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis.
Democrats will chair the Agriculture, Children and Family Affairs, Health, Judiciary and Transportation Committees, plus the all-important Finance Committee, where Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, will continue to preside. All bills that spend money must flow through Finance.
In the last session, a bill that would have prevented any discussion of homosexuality in public schools was defeated in an Education K-12 Subcommittee. I'm not sure if a Democrat was allowed to chair the K-12 subcommittee. If the K-12 subcommittee is chaired by the same party as the larger Education committee, that may make it easier to advance anti-LGBT bill to the floor for a full house vote.
The Children and Family Affairs Committee will again be headed by a Democrat. An anti-gay adoption bill never made it out of this committee last session while under Democratic control. This may be good news if similar legislation is introduced.