AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced Wednesday the members of the Texas House and Senate select committees on mass violence prevention and community safety.
The committees' formation comes after recent mass shootings in El Paso, Midland and Odessa.
Patrick named nine state senators to the Senate committee: Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), and John Whitmire (D-Houston).
Huffman will serve as chair and Zaffirini will serve as vice chair.
Bonnen named 13 state representatives to the House committee: Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Poncho Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass), César Blanco (D-El Paso), Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Barbara Gervins-Hawkins (D-San Antonio), Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton), Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Mike Lang (R-Granbury), Joe Moody (D-El Paso), Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), Four Price (R-Amarillo) and Armando Walle (D-Houston).
Darby will serve as chair and Nevárez will serve as vice chair.
According to a release from Patrick and Bonnen's offices Tuesday, the committees will study and recommend effective legislative solutions to help prevent mass gun violence and improve community safety.
“Speaker Bonnen and I had previously agreed to study ways to combat domestic terrorism during the interim, but following the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Midland — as well as Santa Fe and Dallas — we have decided to appoint Select Committees this week to address these challenges," said Patrick in the release.
Both committees will be tasked with "examining a comprehensive cross section of policy-related charges" and committee jurisdiction, member lists and issue areas are expected to be announced this week.
“Words alone will not deliver the bold solutions Texas needs in order to defeat the violence that has become far too commonplace in our state,” Bonnen said in a release. “The Texas House is putting words into action by forming this committee, and it will be well-served by the range of backgrounds, skillsets, and expertise these particular members provide."
The committees will provide a final list of legislative recommendations to be translated into proposed statutory changes.