the House Corrections committee would lose its authority over the Youth Commission. It would be moved to a new Juvenile Justice Committee, which would also oversee the Office of Independent Ombudsman.Indeed, Madden's Corrections Committee chairmanship may be in jeopardy, Ward reported:
In the past two years since a sex-abuse and coverup scandal, the Corrections Committee has pressed Youth Commission officials hard to fully implement reforms — too hard, agency officials have complained. They have continued to drag their feet at being held accountable for continuing problems, committee members and staffers have countered.
The change comes as the Sunset Advisory Commission recently recommended a merger of the Youth Commission and the state Juvenile Probation Commission, a change that both agencies — and some aides to Gov. Rick Perry — have opposed.
Word is circulating fast and furious this afternoon that Madden, a longtime supporter of deposed House Speaker Tom Craddick, may get the boot as chairman of House Corrections.However, I'm not sure I agree with Ward's assessment that:
By ending the Corrections Committee’s authority over the Youth Commission, the agency could perhaps get an easier ride in the House this session. But that won’t help in the Senate, where the Criminal Justice Committee appears to want to keep the heat on the Youth Commission.I'd imagine the change has more to do with greasing the skids for some version of a merger between TYC and the Juvenile Probation Commission, about which Madden had been skeptical, than some latent concern that Madden has been laying the whip too hard to TYC!
Opponents of the change say it is reprisal for Corrections Committee members, especially Chairman Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, demanding continued accountability from Youth Commission officials.
Supporters claim Madden and others have pushed too hard and should get the boot.
MORE: Ward has this update announcing that his prediction may have been premature:
Late word this evening of a push by House Democrats and some Republicans to keep the Texas Youth Commission under the jurisdiction of the House Corrections Committee. ...
Instead of having a Juvenile Justice Committee, a Public Safety Committee is being supported to have oversight over state law enforcement agencies.