FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2009
(AUSTIN) — The Senate Higher Education Committee held its first hearing of the 81st Legislative Session (2009) Wednesday (Feb. 11) to consider organizational issues, adopt the committee rules and establish the committee schedule. Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, chair, defined the committee's higher education priorities and praised Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's leadership in upgrading the committee from a subcommittee and defining its important charges.
"The committee's priorities include tuition deregulation, the top ten percent law, financial aid, affordability, accessibility, graduation rates and incentives to improve the efficiency and transparency of higher education institutions," Senator Zaffirini said.
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst recently appointed Zaffirini to chair the committee. Members are Senators Dan Patrick, R-Houston, vice chair; Kip Averitt, R-Waco; Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock; and Royce West, D-Dallas.
SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI represents Senate District 21, including 16 counties and northeast Bexar County. The highest ranking Hispanic and second-highest ranking senator in Texas, she chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of the Senate Finance, Health and Human Services, Administration and Economic Development Committees.