FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2006
(AUSTIN) -- Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst on Friday (Feb. 3) appointed Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to serve as chair of the newly created Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education. Senator Zaffirini was re-appointed as vice chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and as a member of the Senate's Education, Health and Human Services and International Relations and Trade committees, as well as to the Subcommittee on Higher Education.
The new Senate Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education will be charged with reviewing the process for funding construction, renovation and technology infrastructure on higher education campuses throughout the state.
"I am delighted that Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst named me to a chair a sub-committee that will develop important policies related to higher education funding," said Senator Zaffirini, the fourth-highest ranking senator and the highest-ranking senator for Bexar County and the border region. "This subcommittee will play an important role in expanding higher education opportunities for all willing Texans."
As vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee during the 2005 regular session, Senator Zaffirini was instrumental in drafting a balanced budget while restoring funding for critical health and human services programs. She was one of five senators on the Appropriations Conference Committee who wrote the state's final appropriations bill and one of four on the Legislative Budget Board that is co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick. The LBB has budget execution authority during the interim, along with the governor.
Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst lauded Senator Zaffirini and underscored the importance of the new committee on higher education funding. "Our institutions of higher education are key to the future success of our state," he said. "This Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher education will play an important role in ensuring that our college campuses continue to grow and that they are able to meet the future demands of a growing student population."
The Texas Senate will operate during the interim at hand with 15 committees and five subcommittees chaired by 12 Republicans and eight Democrats.
"My assignments reflect the areas that are most important for the families of Senate District 21," Senator Zaffirini said. "I look forward to continuing to address higher education concerns and the many other important issues before the legislature."
SD 21 includes Atascosa, Bee, northeast Bexar, Dimmit, Duval, Frio, Jim Hogg, Karnes, LaSalle, Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Wilson, Zapata and Zavala counties.