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Monday, January 25, 1999     (512) 463-0300
Photo: Dr. Michael DeBakey of Houston, addresses the Texas Senate as Lt. Governor Rick Perry and Houston Senator Rodney Ellis look on
Dr. Michael DeBakey of Houston, addresses the Texas Senate as Lt. Governor Rick Perry (Left) and Houston Senator Rodney Ellis (Center) look on.

Texas Senate Honors Dr. Michael DeBakey for 50 Years of Dedication

AUSTIN - The Texas Senate honored Dr. Michael DeBakey of Houston on Monday, for fifty years of service as a surgeon and educator at Baylor College of Medicine. DeBakey came to Texas from New Orleans to become chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1948. He performed the first successful coronary bypass and was the first to successfully use a partial artifical heart. DeBakey has not only treated the famous but his efforts personally affected the lives of two senators. He performed the first aorta transplant on Fort Worth Senator Mike Moncrief's grandfather and treated Brownsville Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.'s best friend. Lt. Governor Rick Perry invited Dr. Debakey to the rostrum to address the Senate. He declared Texas as a place that offers opportunity and where innovation is rewarded.

"I came here because I believed in the can-do spirit of Texas," said DeBakey.

Universities and countries throughout the world have recognized DeBakey for his service. People will always be affected by his efforts in creating health care systems throughout the world.

Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo gave fellow senators a preview of the festivities for the 102nd Annual George Washington Birthday Celebration in her hometown. Elaborate costumes decorated the chamber as she invited everyone to the 15 day festival. She explained the significance of the holiday as a combination of patriotism and multiculturalism. Senator Lucio praised Zaffirini's efforts, mentioning her selection as 'Mr. South Texas' for this year's event. The honorary title is awarded for contributions to South Texas. Zaffirini is the fifth woman to be named 'Mr. South Texas', and the first female, hispanic Laredoan to hold the title. Senator Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi made his congratulation and praise official, and admended the resolution Senator Zaffirini introduced.

Finally, the Senate adopted Beaumont Senator David Bernsen's first resolution today. Senate Resolution (SR) 32 declares January 25th, 1999 Orange County Day. Orange County residents watched today's events from the gallery.

After session today, Lt Governor Rick Perry discussed his role in ending social promotion, in response to a press conference by Governor George W. Bush and Education Committee Chair Teel Bivins of Amarillo on the issue.

"We intend to have hearings relatively quickly and to discharge it out of the Senate as soon as we can and send it over to the House," said Perry.

He said they would probably finalize the committee timetable today so senators can start working on that issue as well as other legislation.

The Senate is adjourned until tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.


Events

1/27/99, Wednesday - Education Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.012
1/27/99, Wednesday - Finance Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.036
1/27/99, Wednesday - "State of the State" address by Governor George W. Bush at 11:00 a.m. in the House Chamber
1/28/99, Thursday - Finance Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.036

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