|Majority Leader of the Texas House of Representatives|
January 8, 2019 - August 16, 2019
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 83rd district
January 13, 2015
Dustin Ray Burrows
November 14, 1978
Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Rhodes College (BA)|
Texas Tech University, Lubbock (MBA, JD)
Dustin Ray Burrows (born November 14, 1978) is an attorney and businessman in his native Lubbock, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 83 in West Texas, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The district includes a large portion of Lubbock County and all of Gaines, Borden, Scurry, Terry, Lynn and Mitchell Counties. On January 13, 2015, he succeeded Charles Perry, who won a special election in the summer of 2014 to the Texas State Senate.
Burrows was chair of the state's House Republican Caucus from January 2019 until August, when he resigned the post amid allegations he had been taped negotiating a quid pro quo with Empower Texans chair Michael Quinn Sullivan and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
Burrows graduated from Monterey High School in Lubbock. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College, a private college in Memphis, Tennessee, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. In 2004, Burrows received a Master of Business Administration from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and a Juris Doctor from the Texas Tech University School of Law. He and his father, Dennis Ray Burrows (born 1947), are in private partnership together. 
The younger Burrows is licensed to practice law in New Mexico and Texas. He is a member of the West Texas Home Builders Association and the Texas Residential Construction Commission. In 2010, he was a member of the Lubbock Charter Review Committee and used to serve on the Lubbock Zoning Board of Adjustments.
An active Republican since 2008, Burrows was named by the party leadership to succeed Perry as the party nominee for the Texas House after Perry won the contest to succeed veteran Senator Robert L. Duncan. Duncan had resigned to become the new chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, succeeding Kent Hance in that position. Burrows defeated his Democratic opponent, Max R. Tarbox, 26,932 (81.2 percent) to 6,218 (18.8 percent) percent in the general election held on November 4, 2014.
Burrows said that he will work closely with regional colleagues Charles Perry and John Frullo, a neighboring state representative from District 84, who was first elected in 2010. Frullo said that Burrows "has a lot of agriculture in his district, and that is good. And there are a lot of committees where he can do a lot of good." Burrows indicated he would seek a seat on the Agriculture & Livestock Committee.
After the 2018 election, Burrows was elected as Chair of the House Republican Caucus, mainly due to his idea the next House Speaker should be endorsed by the entire Republican caucus. In the 86th Texas Legislative Session, Burrows was appointed to chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee. In this capacity Burrows authored the landmark HB2, which enables Texas taxpayers to control local tax rates and tax increases.  The legislation was partnered with another piece of legislation which dealt with public school finance reform, HB3; that bill provides almost $5 billion in property tax relief and increased the state's share of school funding.
In addition to these bills, Burrows was the driving force behind legislation supporting Texas firefighters, an issue he had begun to successfully address during the prior session. During the 86th Session, Burrows co-authored House Bill 1521 -- "which would penalize insurers that illegally deny Texas first responders access to medical treatment for line-of-duty injuries covered under state workers' compensation laws. This proposed legislation would amend Section 415.021 of the Labor Code to add sanctions, administrative penalties, and other remedies, including attorney's fees, for administrative violations by self- or collectively insured municipalities obligated to cover eligible workers' compensation claims. The amount of the administrative penalty shall not be less than two times the total amount of benefits payable in connection with the first responder employee's claim."
HB 1525 - also authored by Burrows, Flower Mound Republican Senator Jane Nelson and Dallas Democratic Senator Royce West, will enable Texas to collect more than half a billion dollars over the next two years after enforcing the state's sales tax across state lines. Prior to this legislation, the state could only force sellers to collect Texas sales tax if they had a physical location in Texas, putting small businesses at a financial disadvantage. 
Burrows was involved in a June 12, 2019 meeting between House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans. At the meeting, which Sullivan secretly recorded, Burrows allegedly presented Sullivan with a "hit list" of Republican members both Burrows and Bonnen would like to see the organization defeat politically in the 2020 Republican primaries in exchange for House media credentials for Sullivan's group. Bonnen hoped to stop Sullivan's Empower Texans from criticizing him and his fellow Republican's efforts in the 86th Session. Initially, Bonnen denied the allegations made by Sullivan. A member of the alleged "hit list", Ernest Bailes, has called upon Burrows to answer for his alleged involvement, stating the "deft silence only solidifies truth within the allegations." On August 12, 2019, the Texas House General Investigating Committee voted unanimously to ask the Texas Rangers's Public Integrity Unit to investigate for "reasonable suspicion" that Bonnen engaged in "potential criminal behavior," which would include "the quid pro quo offer of media credentials in exchange for political targeting" of Republican House members that Bonnen wanted defeated at the polls."
Following reports that Sullivan had recorded the meeting and had begun to make the recording available to a small group of people, Burrows resigned as Republican Caucus Chairman and Bonnen issued an apology for saying "terrible things" during the meeting. On August 19, the Dallas Morning News reported that Republican state representative Jim Murphy and Sullivan associate Daniel Greer stated that after listening to the secret recording, the "list" from which Burrows read was the names of Republican House members who had voted against a bill, popular with conservatives, prohibiting the ability of local governments, like cities and counties, to spend public funds on lobbying (commonly referred to as the "taxpayer-funded lobbying" bill).
Burrows spoke to local Lubbock, Texas media on August 22, 2019, and described his reasons for participation in the meeting with Sullivan and his expected, but not realized, goals in meeting with Sullivan.
State Representative Stephanie Klick, from Fort Worth was appointed to position of Republican Caucus chair to replace Burrows. On August 31, 2019, Klick called for the release of the recording to the public. Sullivan published the recording in October 2019, and the release of the recordings' negative comments by Burrows and Bonnen toward local governments prompted angry responses from a number of Texas county and city officials. In mid December of 2019, a House General Investigating Committee unanimously adopted a report from its legal advisers that said House Speaker Dennis Bonnen "likely violated" state law during the June meeting but the committee took no other action and said the matter was closed.
Burrows is married to the former Elisabeth Hause, who grew up in South Texas in a family engaged in cattle ranching and oil and natural gas. They have three sons. The family is evangelical Christian.