AUSTIN -- Dr. Robert F. Deuell (R-Greenville) today became the new Senator from Senate District 2 at a formal swearing-in ceremony in the State Capitol. Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff presided over the ceremony and Tom Phillips, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, administered the Oath of Office.
Deuell said he is eager to begin his service to the citizens of District Two.
"I am honored the citizens of District Two have entrusted me to represent them in Austin," Deuell said. "I look forward working with my new friends and colleagues in the Texas Senate."
Top priorities for Senator Deuell are tort reform, property tax relief, streamlining state government, and ensuring all Texans have access to quality medical care. Senator Deuell is also committed to expanding economic development in Texas.
"I want to help foster a business-friendly environment where good jobs are available for every Texan," Deuell said. "We can do this with improved worker training programs and adding development incentives."
Deuell said he is ready to tackle the tough issues facing Texas, including the projected $9.9 billion budget shortfall.
"I believe we can find ways to fund necessary programs and protect the interests of Senate District Two, while not expanding the tax burden on our citizens," Deuell said.
Deuell said a good starting point would be for state budget writers to use zero-based budgeting.
"I support Lt. Governor-elect Dewhurst and others who have called for a zero-based budget," Deuell said. "State government must live within its means, and that probably means a little belt-tightening this session."
Following the swearing in ceremony, the Senators drew lots to determine if they would serve two or four year terms. Senator Deuell drew a four year term, which will end in January 2007.
Deuell is a family physician in Greenville. He and his wife of 33 years, Marilyn, have three children.
Senate District 22 includes all of Fannin, Hunt, Delta, Hopkins, Rains, Rockwall, Kaufman, and Van Zandt counties and part of Dallas and Smith counties.