Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

DATE: March 11, 2003
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Senator Deuell Passes First Bill

(Austin) - On Tuesday, State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) passed the first bill of his legislative career. Senate Bill 360, which assures local chamber of commerce leaders are not held liable for the activities of the chamber, passed the Senate and will now be sent to the Texas House of Representatives.

Currently, local chambers of commerce are not included in state law under the definition of a "charitable organization," making volunteers subject to potential litigation. Senate Bill 360 would limit the civil liability of chamber officers or volunteers who act in good faith.

Senator Deuell said he was happy to pass a bill that will allow qualified people to serve without fear of litigation.

"Our local chambers rely on local volunteers to serve as officers and board members," Deuell said. "We don't want our local people, who perform such valuable service to our communities, hesitant to serve because they are scared of being sued."

"We need our chambers to promote their communities, attract jobs and improve the quality of life," Deuell said. "We need out best and brightest leaders serving in that capacity."

Deuell, the first freshman Senator to pass a bill this Session, had his fellow freshman on hand for moral support as the senior Senators subjected him to some traditional light-hearted hazing.

Senators made parliamentary inquiries as to whether freshmen were allowed to have bills heard on the floor, tried to add twenty page amendments, and inquired whether Senator Deuell could read the entire text of the bill himself, along with the other freshman Senators.

Senator Deuell was happy to accommodate his Senate colleagues, and added some support to Texas teachers in the process.

"Being a product of Texas public schools," Deuell said, "I'd be very happy to show what a great job the teachers of the state of Texas did and read the bill if you so desire."

Senator Deuell, who was also celebrating his 53rd birthday on Tuesday, took some good-natured ribbing from Lt. Governor David Dewhurst at the beginning of the session.

"Senator Deuell is such and outstanding physician and takes such good care of himself," Dewhurst said, "he doesn't look it, but he's 87 years old."