[Lt. Governor of Texas]
Post Office Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
David Dewhurst
                           

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
October 04, 2012  

Lt. Governor Dewhurst Announces Senate Committee Chairs
AUSTIN—Today, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced the appointments of Senate Committee Chairs. Lt. Governor Dewhurst is realigning appointments to match each Member's specific talents to their committees to allow them more time to focus on conservative solutions to issues, and to eliminate three committees to save money during these tough economic times.
"This upcoming Session will be difficult," Lt. Governor Dewhurst said. "As a lifelong businessman, I have constantly tried to challenge my colleagues and myself through new leadership opportunities and rotating assignments that require fresh conservative thinking and conservative solutions. Therefore, I am pleased to announce the following Chairs for the remainder of the Interim until the Regular Session to complete the Interim Charges."
Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education to maximize the benefits of his interest in education and workforce development and his ability to work with all Members. He recently served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Redistricting.
Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, succeeding Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) who was recently appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. Senator Nichols has a distinguished background in Texas transportation, having served as a Commissioner of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), whose leadership of the Senate Committee on Higher Education has benefitted Texas students, is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Government Organization, where important Sunset legislation – including bills relating to the Higher Education Coordinating Board – will be considered this Session.
Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), who has ably served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Government Organization, is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Open Government to work on rewriting appropriate sections of the Open Government laws and increase transparency in state government operations in this age of modern communications.
Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security, with the important responsibility of Homeland Security transferred to his Committee. This new responsibility will compliment Senator Estes' personal priorities and military presence in his District.
Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has been appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, due to his strong interest in improving public education for children, instituting innovative change and providing for more school choice by parents. Senator Patrick succeeds Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) who announced her retirement from the Texas Senate in September 2011.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, which deals with local government issues.
Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Nominations, which handles the important job of considering Gubernatorial appointments.
Senator Royce West (D-Dallas), who served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence where his strong legal background will benefit the Senate as well as the Judiciary.
Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) is appointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development to help grow the Texas economy and create new jobs. This position was formerly filled by Senator Mike Jackson (R-La Porte).
As previously announced, Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) will serve as Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, succeeding Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) who announced his retirement following the 82nd Legislature.
With looming Medicaid costs and the implementation of Obamacare, Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) has been reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services to help the Senate address federal healthcare and Obamacare challenges.
In light of complicated challenges facing Texas relating to tort reform, property rights and health insurance, Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) has been reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) is reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce after previously serving as Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security.
Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) is reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources after previously serving as Chair of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.
Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) is reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Administration.
Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) is reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) is reappointed as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations.
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