AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan appointed three state representatives to the state’s Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee on Feb. 23, a defunct body that exists only on paper and hasn’t worked in more than a decade.

KXAN reported on the idle committee in November, when several criminal justice advocates said it should be funded and used, and Texas lacks criminal justice oversight.

Phelan appointed the following three members to the committee:

  • Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction
  • Rep. Carl Sherman, D-DeSoto
  • Rep. Ed Thompson, R-Pearland

The new appointments alone do not mean the committee is being reactivated. House and Senate leadership are required by law to appoint lawmakers regardless of whether the committee is functioning or not.

KXAN has reached out to the recently appointed House members to gauge if there is a push to get the committee operating again.

Aside from the Legislative Oversight Committee, Phelan has signaled interest in examining criminal justice issues between legislative sessions. On March 10, Phelan created the House Interim Study Committee on Criminal Justice Reform to “examine all elements of state policy that influence intake and outcomes in the state’s criminal justice system,” according to a proclamation.

The interim committee will issue a report for the 88th Legislative Session beginning on Jan. 10, 2023, and the committee will expire when that session begins.