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SENATOR NELSON NAMED TO "BEST OF THE LEGISLATURE 2013"
AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was named to the list of "Top Special Session Performers" by Capitol Inside. One of only five Senators named to the list, and the only Senator to make both this list and Capitol Inside's "Power Rankings" for the regular session, her work was cited as "the most impressive and impactive performance at the Capitol during three special sessions."
"I am honored to be named to the 'Best of the Legislature 2013' list and appreciate the recognition for the hard work we put in this year -- not only during the regular session but in three special sessions as well," Senator Nelson said. "This legislative season was one of the most challenging of my career, but we made important steps toward improving the lives of all Texans."
The text of the article, which appears at CapitolInside.com follows:
The most impressive and impactive performance at the Capitol during three special sessions arguably came from a lawmaker who didn't have her name on the authorship line on any of the major legislation that the assembly-line churned out this summer. That distinction would have to go to Jane Nelson - a veteran GOP lawmaker who arguably did more to help Senate Republicans reclaim control of the chamber after they'd fumbled it away with an ill-advised strategy that sparked a riot in the gallery that killed the abortion bill the first time around. As the Senate Health & Human Services Committee chair, Nelson presided over a hearing on the abortion bill that took some of the fire out of the Democrats' complaint about pro-choice activists being denied the opportunity to make all of their voices heard on the matter. When hundreds of the bill's opponents showed up for the hearing expecting to have the door shut in their faces, Nelson announced that everyone who wanted to speak on the bill could do so as long as they limited their remarks to two minutes. But Nelson drew the line in the dirt the moment that testimony started to stray from the subject at the center of the policy debate into a more personal realm. When one witness angrily accused the Legislature of being filled with women-hating men who are all liars, Nelson kept cutting her off each time she attempted to criticize GOP senators individually by name. While that particular citizen ended up being hauled away by Capitol police, Nelson demonstrated that she'd been listening to the concerns that had been raised when she called during a speech on the floor at the end of the abortion debate for an interim study on how the state could improve access to health care for women. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst immediately agreed to honor Nelson's request for the interim committee review - and you can bet that whatever her committee recommends will pass in 2015. Nelson, who entered the Senate in 1993, has evolved into one of the Legislature's most influential and effective members over the course of the past decade. While Nelson's resume would require several pages worth of bullet items to list all of the major legislation she's passed since landing her current committee chair in 2002, she had one of her finest hours with minimal fanfare with the crucial part she played in the re-establishment of the boundaries of decorum at a statehouse where chaos seemed to be ruling for a while more than the Republicans were.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.