Texas State Senators will be able to get to work quickly when they return on Monday after action by their new presiding officer. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ended his first week in his new office by releasing his Senate committee assignments.
In assigning the positions, Patrick first shrunk the number of committees from 18 to 14. The elimination cut the additions that had accumulated under his predecessor, David Dewhurst, and placed them back to roughly historic norms.
“The efficient structure of streamlined committees will allow for the passage of not only a variety of issues, but of Texans’ top priorities, such as education reform, tax relief and border security.” said Patrick.
The 14 committee chair assignments are as follows:
- Committee on Administration State Sen. Kelly Hancock
- Agriculture, Water, Rural Affairs State Sen. Charles Perry
- Business and Commerce State Sen. Kevin Eltife
- Criminal Justice State Sen. John Whitmire
- Education State Sen. Larry Taylor
- Finance State Sen. Jane Nelson
- Health and Human Services State Sen. Charles Schwertner
- Higher Education State Sen. Kel Seliger
- Intergovernmental Affairs State Sen. Eddie Lucio
- Natural Resources and Economic Development State Sen. Troy Fraser
- Nominations State Sen. Brian Birdwell
- State Affairs State Sen. Joan Huffman
- Transportation State Sen. Robert Nichols
- Veteran Affairs and Military Installations State Sen. Donna Campbell
He also fulfilled another campaign promise that he made to Republican voters. Under his tenure, he pledged, fewer Democrats would chair committees. His assignments Friday gave Democrats only 2 chairmanships, half of their allotment under the previous lieutenant governor.
“I promised Texas voters that we would get the job done and now we have the team in place to get to work,” said Patrick.