Health & Human Services – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
State Representative, D-Houston; Chairman, House County Affairs Committee
State Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, D-Houston, has represented District 147 in the Texas House since 1991. Coleman serves as a member of the Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, charged with ensuring that the state maximizes its funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
State Senator, R-Greenville; Vice Chairman, House Health & Human Services Committee
State Sen. Robert F. "Bob" Deuell has represented Senate District 2 since 2003. Deuell now serves as chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee and vice chairman of both the Health and Human Services and the State Affairs committees. He also sits on the Finance Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.
State Senator, D-Dallas
Royce West was first elected to the Texas Senate in November 1992. Since taking office he has represented the 23rd Senatorial District on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County in the Texas Legislature. West is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and is a member of Senate committees on Education, Finance, Health and Human Services and Higher Education.
State Representative, R-Simonton; Chair, House Select Committee on Federal Legislation
State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, was elected in 2006 to represent House District 28. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee as chairman of the Health and Human Services Subcommittee. He was also appointed to the Conference Committee for Senate Bill 1, the 2010-11 state budget, and serves on the House Public Health Committee.
Law & Order – One on One with Rusty Hardin
Criminal defense attorney; Founder of Rusty Hardin & Associates, P.C.
Rusty Hardin is the founder and leader of Rusty Hardin & Associates, P.C. Before entering private practice, Rusty established his reputation as an assistant district attorney in Houston for over 15 years. During that period, he never lost a felony jury trial and tried 14 death penalty cases.
Energy & Environment – A Land Plan for Texas
Former State Senator, former chair, Senate Natural Resources Committee
Senator Kip Averitt is a certified public accountant and a state and local tax consultant for Ryan & Company. Averitt was elected to represent SD-22 in 2002. He previously served in the Texas House of Representatives for nearly 10 years. Averitt is the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and also served on the Senate Business and Commerce, Education, Finance and Higher Education committees.
Executive Director, Nature Conservancy of Texas
Laura Huffman is the state director of the Nature Conservancy of Texas, where she heads a team of more than 80 scientists, conservation experts and support staff. She served as deputy city manager for the city of San Marcos from 1994 to 2002 and as assistant city manager for the city of Austin from 2002 to 2008, leading watershed protection and economic development initiatives for both cities.
Texas Land Commissioner
Jerry Patterson was elected the 27th Texas land commissioner in November 2002. He was re-elected to a third term in 2010. From 1993 to 1999, Patterson served as a state senator for District 11, which included Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties, and chaired the first Veterans Affairs Committee in the Senate.
Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Carter Smith has served as the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 2008. As a biologist, he has worked on a variety of research projects ranging from studying moose in the boreal forests of Saskatchewan to mule deer and pronghorn antelope in West Texas to waterfowl in the Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Public & Higher Education – Educating the Emerging Hispanic Majority
Sarita E. Brown
President, Excelencia in Education; Former Executive Director, White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
Sarita E. Brown is the president of Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit organization working to accelerate Latino success in higher education. She has spent more than two decades at prominent educational institutions and in government working to increase achievement and opportunity for low-income and minority students.
Juliet V. García
President, University of Texas at Brownsville
Dr. Juliet V. García joined the University of Texas System as the president of UT-Brownsville in 1992 after serving as president of Texas Southmost College for six years. When García was named president of TSC in 1986, she became the first Mexican-American woman in the nation to become president of a college or university.
Superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District
A public school superintendent for the last 14 years, Daniel P. King was named state Superintendent of the Year in 2006 by the Texas Association of School Boards. Since July 2007, King has led the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. Before coming to the district, King led Hidalgo ISD for eight years.
Shirley A. Reed
President, South Texas College
Shirley A. Reed is the founding president of South Texas College, a post she has held since 1994. South Texas College serves a population of 700,000, with more than 22,000 students per semester and 90 degree and certificate programs. Reed also serves on the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors.
Race & Immigration – Voter ID: The Great Debate
State Representative, R-Beeville; Candidate for Bee County District Attorney
State Rep. Jose Aliseda, R-Beeville, was elected to the Texas House in 2010. He has served on the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and the Environmental Regulations Committee and was voted House Republican Caucus Freshman of the Year by fellow legislators in the 82nd session. Previously, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Aliseda to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in 2003.
Trey Martinez Fischer
State Representative, D-San Antonio; Vice-Chair, House State Sovereignty Committee
State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, is the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the oldest and largest Latino legislative caucus in the U.S. Martinez Fischer recently led the Mexican American Legislative Caucus in court battles against the state's voter ID law.
Trade & Transportation – One on One with Phil Wilson
Executive Director, Texas Department of Transportation
Phil Wilson is executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. Before joining TxDOT in 2011, Wilson served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer for Luminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Texas’ 106th secretary of state. In that position, he served as the chief elections officer and chief international protocol officer for Texas.