Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has announced committee assignments for this year’s Texas Senate and Northeast Texas will be fairly well represented. Each one of the three Republican state senators from the KETR listening area has an assignment as either chair or vice-chair on one of the 14 committees in this session of the Texas Legislature.
Kevin Eltife of Tyler will chair the Committee on Business and Commerce. Eltife, whose district includes Lamar, Franklin and Wood Counties, will also serve on the Committee on Administration and the Committee on Finance.
Freshman Senator Bob Hall of Van has replaced Bob Deuell as the lawmaker representing Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt Counties, as well as part of Dallas County. Hall will serve as vice chair of the Border Security Subcommittee. That group will be led by chair Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury. Hall also received three other assignments, most notably on the Transportation Committee. Hall was also selected to serve on the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs and also on the Committee on Natural Resources and Economic development.
Craig Estes of Wichita Falls has a large North Texas district that includes part of Collin County, including Farmersville and Princeton. Estes lost his chairmanship of the Committee on State Affairs, though he will continue to serve in that group. Estes was replaced by Houston Republican Joan Huffman. Estes will be the vice chair of the Committee on Natural resources and economic development. Estes will also serve on three other committees: Health and Human Services, Nominations, and State Affairs.
Patrick eliminated four committees that were organized in the 2013 Senate. Absent from this year’s session will be last session’s committees on Open Government, Jurisprudence, Economic Development and Government Organization.
A closer look at the State Senators and their districts:
Northeast Texas Municipal Water District administrator Walt Sears discusses the three hurdles that any new reservoir in Texas must clear. A project must first be included in the state water plan, which is published by the Texas Water Development Board. Then, another state agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, must issue permits for the project. Finally, the new reservoir must receive federal approval.
Sears also mentions that Sen. Kevin Eltife, an East Texan, serves on the new legislative oversight committee set up to assist the Texas Water Development Board.
State senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), whose district includes Lamar, Franklin and Wood counties, will serve on an advisory board set up to help the Texas Water Development Board disburse new money for water projects.