From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
January 4, 1999
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

State Senator Ellis Praises New Insurance Commissioner

(Austin) -- State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today praised the appointment of José Montemayor as Commissioner of Insurance. Montemayor is currently the Associate Commissioner for the Financial Program. He replaces Elton Bomer, who resigned to become a senior adviser to Governor George Bush.

"In his service as an Associate Commissioner, José Montemayor showed that he understood the insurance industry and its financial structure very well," said Ellis. "I am confident that he will bring similar diligence and judgment to his duties as Commissioner."

"Insurance coverage is vital for Texans wishing to drive cars, own homes, or seek medical care for their children. We must have a healthy insurance industry in Texas, but one that is responsive to the whole market in making coverage available at affordable rates."

Ellis has long been a leader in the Texas Legislature on insurance issues. Last session, Ellis proposed legislation to encourage insurers to develop a Community Investment Plan, which would require insurance companies to report annually their community investments. In 1995, Senator Ellis passed legislation outlawing discrimination in the insurance industry, and created the Market Assistance Program to help the industry expand access in underserved areas. In 1993, he passed legislation to provide the Department of Insurance and Office Public Insurance Council the authority to request underwriting guidelines from insurers.

Subsequent to Bomer's resignation, Ellis supported Montemayor for the position, and predicted quick confirmation by the Texas Senate. Montemayor will fill the unexpired portion of Bomer's term, which ends February 1st, and will be confirmed for a new term in his own right.