P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2015
AUSTIN – Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was named the Senate MVP by Capitol Inside in their list of the best legislators of the 84th Legislative Session. Senator Nelson, who was also named to the "best" list for the 83rd Legislative Session, was one of three Senators named to the list.
"It is an honor to be recognized for what we accomplished this session. We passed a responsible budget that makes wise investments in transportation, education, and border security as well as providing significant tax relief to businesses and homeowners. We made Texas more attractive to businesses, made our government more accountable and transparent and also helped our most vulnerable citizens by reorganizing our state's health and human services agencies," said Senator Nelson.
The article, which calls Senator Nelson "the most obvious all-star as the author of the two-year state budget and the record tax cuts that are built into it," also noted she has appeared on three of the previous five Capitol Inside "All-Pro" teams with honorable mentions on the other two. Excerpts from the article, which appears in Capitol Inside, follows:
"...Nelson had a session for the ages in an arena where she took the lead on the two biggest issues and made it look astonishingly easy considering the nature and magnitude of the challenges at hand. Nelson confronted her job as the Senate's chief budget writer with a relatively hands-on style that stopped short of excessive micro-managerment - and she shepherded a two-year state appropriations plan with a record price tag through the upper chamber with only one opposing vote from a Democrat who wanted to spend more. Nelson had been around long enough to understand that budgets are tougher to write in times of feast than they are when the state's broke - and that's especially true if you're a Republican in the Texas tea party craze generation. But Nelson gave Patrick and other Senate conservatives substantial cover with a delicate balance that aimed to fund indisputable needs relatively sufficiently for someone of her particular partisan status while ensuring that lawmaker would have plenty of cash left over for major tax cuts that Republicans here had already dreamed about but never really imagined.
Nelson was already on overload with her budget chores when she stepped up and seized control of a record tax relief package that another Republican had been planning to carry - and she guided it through the Senate with the same sort of graceful efficiency that she employed when selling the spending bill to a penny-pinching grassroots base as a smart business investment that will pay big dividends. Nelson made a big deal about seeking bipartisan support that she ended up securing at a very high level on the state tax and spending measures in a chamber where Republicans and Democrats had been at each other's throats in recent sessions past. Nelson deflected criticism that House leaders were firing at Patrick in the midst of a tax relief standoff when she held her ground firmly on a homestead exemption hike that survived the bargaining battle in scaled-back form.
But suburban business owner who began her professional career as an elementary school teacher still couldn't seem to find enough to do at a statehouse where she passed dozens of other bills on a wide assortment of issues. Graduate medical school education. Texas wine industry development. Major entertainment and sports events subsidies. State contracting. Competitive bidding exemptions for family violence victims. Commercial vehicle safety standards. Strategic state agency fiscal reviews. Dedicated revenues and federal funding. Mental health resources for veterans and college students. The sunset process. A consolidation of state health and human service agencies. State debt retirement. And this is just a sample of the grand slam performance that Nelson delivered on a statehouse stage..."