Austin - The Senate Chamber was quiet at the start of today's session as the Lieutenant Governor requested silence to honor the memory of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, lost on February 1, 2003.
Several Senators spoke on the resolution sponsored by Pasadena Senator Mike Jackson to express admiration for the seven astronauts who died as they returned from their sixteen-day research mission. The Senate extended condolences to their families and friends and to all the NASA community. Senator Eliot Shapleigh from El Paso quoted former President Ronald Reagan, saying "the future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted, it belongs to the brave."
The Senate will not convene for Session or committee meetings tomorrow to allow invited members the opportunity to attend a memorial service in Houston for the crew of the space shuttle.
The Senate Infrastructure Development and Security Committee met this morning to discuss Homeland Security in Texas. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was one of six people invited to testify at the committee's first hearing. Some of the issues that he wants the committee to address are port security, border protection, bio-terrorism, increased scrutiny on name changes, and mutual-aid agreements.
In his testimony to the committee, Jay Kimbrough, Governor Rick Perry's Homeland Security Coordinator, presented the idea he seeks, under the Governor's guidance, to approach homeland security by separating the state into twenty-four regions instead of approaching it as a whole.
The Senate will reconvene Wednesday, February 5, 2003, at 11 a.m.