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January 4, 2001     (512) 463-0300

Lieutenant Governor Ratliff Clarifies
77th Session Committee Plan

AUSTIN - Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff issued a memorandum on Thursday, January 4, to the members of the Texas Senate, outlining his plan to ensure balanced, representative committees for the 77th Regular Session.

In the memorandum, Ratliff answered criticism that the Redistricting Committee initially contained no Hispanic members and that South Texas was not represented on the committee.

"These two situations are, indeed, oversights on my part and I believe should be rectified," Ratliff said in the memorandum. "It is therefore my intent to increase the membership of the Redistricting Committee to eight members and to add the name of Senator Judith Zaffirini to this committee."

Zaffirini of Laredo represents District 21, which includes all or part of 19 South Texas counties.

Another point Ratliff addressed was his initial proposal to eliminate the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee.

"Also, in my zeal to reduce the number of committees which Senators are attempting to cover, I proposed to eliminate the Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations," Ratliff said in the memorandum. "It was not my intent to diminish the importance of this segment of our population."

Lt. Gov Ratliff said in the memorandum if the Senate Caucus agrees with his proposal to eliminate the Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, he would name a Military Affairs Subcommittee chaired by Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi to the State Affairs Committee.