FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas--Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst today (Friday) appointed Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to the powerful Legislative Budget Board. The LBB comprises the Lt. Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, four senators and four representatives. "Senator Zaffirini is one of the Senate's hardest working members, and I am pleased to appoint her to the Legislative Budget Board. Senator Zaffirini worked extremely hard as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee to ensure that essential services were protected for the most vulnerable in our society. As a member of the LBB, Senator Zaffirini will serve the people of Texas well," Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said.
The LBB was created in 1949 for the primary purpose of developing recommended legislative appropriations for all state agencies. Its most notable responsibilities are setting the limit on the next biennium's budget growth based on the state's economy and exercising budget-execution authority when the legislature is not in session. Many consider the LBB as powerful during legislative interims as the Appropriations Conference Committee is during legislative sessions.
Between legislative sessions the Governor or the LBB may propose prohibiting a state agency from spending all or part of an appropriation, transferring an appropriation to another state agency and/or changing the purpose of an appropriation. While the LBB must approve and/or amend a Governor's proposal, the Governor must approve and/or amend an LBB proposal.
"Legislative Budget Board members have great responsibilities, not only as stewards of the appropriations bill passed during the previous legislative session, but also as developers of appropriations recommendations for the next legislative session," Senator Zaffirini said.
In 2003 Lt. Gov. Dewhurst also appointed her Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and to the Senate Committees on Education, Health and Human Services and International Relations and Trade and to the Appropriations Conference Committee, the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education and the Legislative Oversight Committee on Higher Education.
Ranked fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, Senator Zaffirini has served three consecutive terms as Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, five terms as a member of the Appropriations Conference Committee that writes the state's budget, six terms on the Senate Finance Committee and eight consecutive terms on the Senate Education Committee.
"Serving on the LBB will be challenging," Sen. Zaffirini said. "My pledge is to do my best in prioritizing the needs and interest of the families of our district and of our great state. I'm grateful to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for giving me another great opportunity to make a difference."
For more information contact the Senator's Capitol office at 512/463-0121 or visit our website at http://www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us.
Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) represents the 21st Senatorial District