Breaking with tradition, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed the Senate Finance Committee today. Normally the Senate committees are appointed all at once. As he did last session, Dewhurst named state Sen. Steve Ogden as chairman and state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, as vice chair. Members include Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, Sen. Jane Nelson, R- Flower Mound,Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Both Estes and Patrick are new to the committee.
The Senate’s budget was rolled out this morning – which is slightly larger than the House proposal presented last week – and Dewhurst said that given the severity of the issue, “the best thing that we can do in the Senate is get started as soon as possible.” Dewhurst said the Senate will begin working on the budget bill Monday.