Texas House: More New Members and Less Experience in 2013
Early voting for the November 6th, 2012 elections starts Monday, October 22nd. No matter what happens in those elections, though, the Texas House is going to look significantly different when the 2013 legislative session begins on January 8th. About half the House members will be in their first or second terms. Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith calls it an “experience drain” and says it’s due to retirements, primary losses, and the movement of some House members to the Senate or other offices.
Smith says there are some pluses and minuses to this shift in the House’s make-up. “The good part of this,” says Smith, “is the fresh set of eyes. The bad part of this is when you’re dealing with issues as complicated as public education, health care, water, you want people who are veterans, who are experienced, who have institutional history, institutional knowledge, who know how to operate the dials at the dashboard.”
Click on the player on this page to hear Evan Smith talk with KUT’s Jennifer Stayton about how this shifting make-up of the house could impact the upcoming 2013 legislative session in Texas.