Senator Nelson Named to Budget-Negotiating Panel

May 13, 2011

Senator Nelson Named to Budget Negotiating Panel

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was named a member of the panel that will negotiate a final two-year state budget. Five Senators and five House members were named to the conference committee on HB 1, which will work out differences between budgets passed by the Senate and House. After the conference committee members reach agreement, the final budget must be adopted by a majority of Senators and Representatives. "The Senate budget meets our responsibilities to schoolchildren and to Texans who need state services while not adding tax burdens that could hinder our state's economic recovery," Senator Nelson said. "I look forward to working with our House colleagues to pass a fiscally responsible budget that reflects Texans' priorities."

Senate Approves Final Version of Voter ID Bill

The Senate approved a final version of a bill which would require voters to show a photo ID before receiving a ballot. Senator Nelson is a joint author of SB 14, which needs a final vote by the House before going to the Governor. "This long-needed law will help fight fraud and boost voters' confidence that Texas elections are fair," Senator Nelson said.

Jury Selection Bill Goes to Governor

Senator Nelson's first bill to reach the governor's desk, SB 85, transfers the responsibility for maintaining the list of permanent jury duty exemptions from the county tax assessor-collector to the county voter registrar. Denton County officials sought the change. "This bill promotes government efficiency by requiring voter registrars who create the list of potential jurors to maintain the list of those who are permanently exempted from jury duty."

Tarrant County Truancy Court Bill Goes to Governor

A bill giving Tarrant County the authority to establish a truancy court has passed the Senate and House. HB 734, sponsored by Senator Nelson in the Senate, lowers the population threshold for counties to establish a truancy court from 2 million to 1.75 million. "These specialized courts allow communities to focus on truancy prevention with the goal of keeping students in school."

Sales Tax Collections Reflect Economic Growth

Business and retail spending drove sales tax revenue in April up 11.4 percent compared to April 2010. It was the 13th straight month in which state sales tax revenue has increased. "Now would be the worst time to increase taxes on businesses and families who are starting to feel more confident about the economic future."

Videos Help Texans Plan for Disasters

A new series of videos about emergency preparedness puts a human face on disasters and helps families improve their disaster plans. The videos are available to view online at www.TexasPrepares.org. This short-documentary series shows the impact a disaster can have on a community. The series features Texans telling stories of survival and sharing lessons they learned surviving wildfires, floods, hurricanes and wind damage.